Eastern Cattle Egret

Scientific Name: Bubulcus coromandus

Malay Name: Bangau Pendek Timur

Chinese Name: 牛背鹭

Range: Found from Pakistan, Indian subcontinent, southern China, Korea, Japan to Southeast Asia with northern populations wintering to Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 48-53 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult resembles other white egret species but smaller, stockier with short and relatively thick neck, short yellowish bill and blackish legs and feet. Adult in breeding plumage has extensive rufous-buff on head/neck/breast/back, reddish bill with yellow tip, purplish lores and reddish legs. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult.

Similar looking species: Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Little Egret, Pacific Reef Heron, Chinese Egret

Habitat: Grasslands, various wetland habitats and sometimes mudflats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Gregarious and often feeds near cattle.

Local Status: Common migrant

Location: Sungei Buloh, Kranji Marsh, Lorong Halus, Lim Chu Kang and any patch of suitable habitat.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Jan 15-Jan 21
Early date 01 Jul 2023
Late date 30 Jun 2011
A very common migrant mostly encountered in fields, unlike the other egrets which tend to frequent marshier habitats and mudflats.


Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

To top