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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cattle Egret

I spent three months traveling in Bali early this year. It was a nice experience because I could watch some species of birds while riding bicycle around Ubud or walking through endless rows of rice field. Bali is the island of the gods - the place where temples are integrated with beautiful nature. One afternoon I rode my bicycle along Jalan Campuhan just for sight seeing. At a turn of the road I saw a farmer plowing his rice field with a motorized hand tractor. Behind him was some cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis). When I took some pictures of them, I didn't know their name. I used a bridge camera - Nikon Coolpix P500. I don't have  a digiscope. I have to read A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Indonesia to identify their species.
These birds were searching for food among the dirt which had just been turned over by the farmer. I don't know whether it was worm, small fish or frog which the birds were eating. Most of them have got white feather with pale brown plumage covering their heads and neck. Their bills are yellow. I saw one whose feather was completely white among the other cattle egret. I don't know whether it is still the same species or different.
It's amazing that these cattle egret birds were not afraid of human. Compared to New Guinea, the number of species of birds in Bali is lower. However, they can still be seen even in urban and rural areas of Ubud. I like the Balinese way of living that protects trees for spiritual reasons. It allows birds to build their nests. Small birds like to eat grains that are put by the Balinese on the grounds and temples as daily offerings to gods or spirits. What the Balinese do directly support the life of birds.
Bali is a tropical island in Indonesia. It is now the most popular travel destination in the country. Every year millions of people go to Bali's coastal towns to enjoy sunbathing, swimming wave surfing or even scuba diving. Those who like staying in rural areas prefer to stay in Ubud. by Charles Roring/ E-mail: peace4wp@gmail.com