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A Cattle Egret taking a high perch in a Pickerel Weed stand to get a better view of what might be its next meal.

Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe, this bird has undergone a rapid expansion in its distribution and has successfully colonized much of the rest of the world.

The species first arrived in North America in 1941 (these early sightings were originally dismissed as escapees), bred in Florida in 1953, and spread rapidly, breeding for the first time in Canada in 1962. It is now commonly seen as far west as California.

2010 by Peter Schulz