Skip to Content

Ardeidae – Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns

Black-headed Heron in Kenya: Photo by Nathan Mixon

Welcome to the world of Ardeidae, a diverse family of birds known as herons, egrets, and bitterns. Found in various aquatic habitats worldwide, these birds are known for their long legs, necks, and spear-like bills, which they use to catch fish, amphibians, and other small prey. With elegant movements and striking plumage, they grace wetlands and waterways, embodying both beauty and grace in their natural habitats.

Overview of Ardeidae

Sleek hunters of wetland realms, herons are masters of precision and stealth in their pursuit of prey. Whether patiently waiting in stillness, their wings forming a protective canopy overhead, or actively probing the depths with their slender toes, these birds seamlessly blend tranquility with swift, lethal strikes. Their dagger-like bills, honed for capturing prey, also pose a formidable threat up close, warranting caution. To safeguard their young from terrestrial predators, herons seek refuge in secluded or elevated nesting sites, creating a striking image of these tall birds perched atop tree limbs, tending to their large stick nests.