T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Heron (Cattle Egret) Bubulcus ibis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Bubulcus
Species: B. ibis
Binomial name: Bubulcus ibis
Synonyms: Ardea ibis, Ardeola ibis.
Common names: Cattle Egret

Bubulcus ibis a true 'cosmopolitan' species of terrestrial heron that is native to Africa and southern Spain. It is the only species in its genus. It gains its common name ‘Cattle Egret‘ from its habit of commonly wandering alongside herds of cattle. In New Zealand, they are fully protected because they are self-introduced and are therefore deemed a native. They usually arrive in New Zealand from Australia in late autumn. Most return to Australia to breed but a few remain over summer.

Bubulcus ibis is a stocky, medium-sized bird that is smaller than the white heron (Egretta alba). It is >56 cm in length, with a wingspan of >96 cm. Males are heavier at about 390 g while the female weighs about 340 g. The plumage is a white-grey colour. It has a slightly 'hunched' posture, even when it is standing erect. 
They are active foragers. Their major prey is active insects. They eat mostly grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, flies, frogs, and noctuid moths.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/