Bubulcus ibis ibis

Backyard and Beyond

A Western Cattle Egret has been hanging out in Penn South, a co-op complex in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. There are damn few cattle thereabouts, but these birds, who in their original range (Africa, Middle East, Southern Europe) follow migrating ruminants who kick up a storm of bugs, are adaptable enough to get bugs and grubs where they may.Somehow these birds made it to South America in the late 19th century. Then they slowly worked their way north. They were breeding in the U.S. by the 1950s. They’re mostly found in our southern states now.I saw my first at Jamaica Bay, but they’re pretty uncommon in NYC and they are very uncommon in Manhattan.But wait a minute. Haven’t we seen this head somewhere before?Who would have thought that the Dr. Frankenstein who keeps Trump’s Hair alive with a surfeit of drugs would have modeled the color on…

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