Cattle egrets flock in large groups all year, whether it’s a breeding colony or a nonbreeding roost. They forage in dry grass in flocks, which tend to stay near large herbivores like cows, horses, or elephants. As the herbivores graze, they startle insects which take off flying. Cattle egrets catch 30% more insects when they are near herbivores than when they are foraging on their own. Tractors have the same effect in startling insects, so cattle egrets sometimes follow tractors as well.
Male egrets defend a display territory, spreading their wings and dancing for attention until they pair up with a female. The pair defends a nest territory together. They are monogamous in each breeding season. Cattle egret populations are increasing worldwide as they spread into new areas.