This extract refers to the plight of cattle egrets in Egypt in the 1920s.
"Reestablishment and Value of the Buff-backed Heron in Egypt
As an instance of bringing back to abundance a nearly extirpated bird,
and that for an economic reason, the treatment of Ardea ibis or Cattle
Egret in Egypt is unique. The species has ornamental plumes, which
although inferior to those of the true Egrets, were so tempting to plume
hunters, that the birds were reduced from a widespread and abundant
resident to a single colony of about 120 pairs. At this juncture, due chiefly
to the efforts of Major S.S. Flower, a law was passed granting absolute
protection to the "egret". A warden was employed to guard the existing
colony, headmen of villages were notified of the value and protected status
of the bird, and attempts were made to establish new colonies.
Major Flower obviously undertook his tasks with great enthusiasm for now they are one of the commonness sights where ever there is agricultural land as well as any green spaces in the cities and on the golf courses, they even go paddling in the Red Sea!
One of the largest colonies, however, is in Central Cairo where they can be seen gathering just before dusk in the tall shady eucalyptus and casuarina trees that line the main road that borders the Giza Zoo.
At this time of the year, the colony is a frenzy of activity with nest repair and nest building as each year there are more and more birds squabbling and squawking.
The photos were taken on two occasions from my car when I was stuck in the habitual traffic jams much to the amusement of the taxi drivers and occuants of the micro buses.