Car Surfing Bird Goes for a Ride

02/11/2011

This week, reader J.J. Tippins of Florida sent me this interesting Animal Oddities story.  J.J. was doing a bit of shopping and when he was finished, he headed out to his car, which was parked in the shopping center lot.  When he got there, a cattle egret was hanging out on the hood of his car. Nothing too odd about that -- cattle egrets are native to Africa and Asia but since being introduced to North America in 1941, they have become abundant and can be found across the continent.  They're also not particularly shy of people.

Egret on Car Screenshot
The view from the driver's seat as an egret hitched a ride through the parking lot.

What's odd is what happened next.  J.J. thought the bird would have flown away as he approached the car.  It didn't.  He thought it would have taken off when he started the engine, but again, no dice.  In fact, it did the opposite.  The bird held its ground even when J.J. started driving away, and it actually stayed put for several minutes while J.J. made his way through the parking lot. As you can see in the video below, the egret looks like he's enjoying the scenery!

I mean, why walk or fly when you can just hitch a free ride on a car, right?  

Photo is a screenshot from J.J. Tippins' video.


David Mizejewski is a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation. His goal is to inspire others to appreciate the wonders of nature. Meet David >
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