“Yeah, I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road.”

By Meghan Overdeep
August 21, 2019

The hottest rideshare service in the Outer Banks has four legs and runs on vegetation, just don’t expect it to get you where you need to go quickly or smoothly. That’s because for the slender white birds known for hitching rides on the back of wild horses, it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey.  

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund recently shared a photo of a two-foot cattle egret riding on the back of a brown horse named Amadeo Jr. on Facebook—a common occurrence amongst wild horse populations. It’s an awkward relationship between two very different species that serves a very practical purpose.

As Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s Meg Puckett explains in the photo caption, the cattle egrets eat the bugs and other “little creatures” stirred up by the horses. The birds also relieve their noble steeds of irksome biting flies and ticks that call the maritime forest home.

Cattle egrets are known for being “gregarious,” and can grow up to 22 inches long and weigh more than a pound.

Basically, both parties benefit from this hilarious symbiotic relationship. And, now that we think of it, so do humans, because we get to witness it.  

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