I Scratch Your Back and You Scratch Mine

The cattle egret, belonging to the heron family, likes to feed around large animals such as a carabao (water buffalo) or cow. It is three times more effective when foraging with cattle than when foraging alone.
surig_2702c1 The buffalo doesn’t seem to mind them, and oftentimes the herons are perched on it.

It is believed that the larger animal benefits as well by being given a “cleaning service” from ticks and other parasitic animals.
surig_2706a I scratch your back, and you scratch mine. Nature can teach us a thing or two about symbiotic relationships.


  1. Int the winter I take my horse to Florida to escape the Canadian winter. They have these birds there too and they hang out with horses when they are turned out in the grass paddocks. The horses always seem to get on well with them.

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