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The Herons are the long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 64 recognised species, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns rather than herons. Members of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus are referred to as bitterns, and, together with the zigzag heron or zigzag bittern in the monotypic genus Zebrilus, form a monophyletic group within the Ardeidae. Egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons, and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white or have decorative plumes. Although egrets have the same build as herons, they tend to be smaller. Herons, by evolutionary adaptation, have long beaks.
The classification of the individual heron/egret species is fraught with difficulty, and no clear consensus exists about the correct placement of many species into either of the two major genera, Ardea and Egretta. Similarly, the relationships of the genera in the family are not completely resolved. However, one species formerly considered to constitute a separate monotypic family, the Cochlearidae or the boat-billed heron, is now regarded as a member of the Ardeidae.

Great Blue Herons

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28 photos
Created 24-May-18
Modified 24-May-18
Great Blue Herons

Great White Herons

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1 photos
Created 18-May-18
Modified 18-May-18
Great White Herons

Green Heron

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9 photos
Created 24-May-18
Modified 24-May-18
Green Heron

Little Blue

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25 photos
Created 24-May-18
Modified 24-May-18
Little Blue

Tricolored Heron

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24 photos
Created 24-May-18
Modified 24-May-18
Tricolored Heron