Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Dinsmore & Silcock, "Cattle Egrets Nesting in Keith County," from Nebraska Bird Review (September 1995) 63(3).


Copyright 1995, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


On 6 August, 1994, we observed 31 Cattle Egrets perched in willows at the west end of Lake McConaughy, Keith County (NBR 62: 104, 128. 1994). The habitat and the birds' behavior suggested that they were nesting, which we confirmed the next morning when we waded to the area. Eleven adult egrets were present and we found five nests, three with three eggs each and the other two nests under construction. All of the nests were in live willows and were 4-6 feet above the water surface. The willow thicket used by the egrets was one of several in the shallow water (2-3 feet deep) along the old North Platte River channel at the upper end of Lake McConaughy. A single adult Snowy Egret was present on 6 August, but we found no evidence to suggest that it might have been nesting. We did not return to the colony to determine its fate, although heronries established so late in the season are probably seldom successful.