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Heron

From Academic Kids

This article is about the long-necked long-legged wading birds. For other uses of this word, see Heron (disambiguation).
Herons

Snowy Egret
Note the chicks in the nest.
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Ciconiiformes
Family:Ardeidae*
Genera

Ardea
Zebrilus
Philherodias
Tigrisoma
Ardeola
Bubulcus
Egretta
Agamia
Butorides
Tigriornis
Tigrisoma
Gorsachius
Syrigma
Zonerodius
Nycticorax

Missing image
Herons_et_roseaux_Suzuki.jpg
Heron and reeds, Haronobu Suzuki (1754-1770)

Herons are medium to large long-legged, long-necked wading birds of the family Ardeidae, which also includes the egrets and bitterns.

Within the family Ardeidae, all members of the genera, Botaurus and Ixobrychus are classed as bitterns, not herons, however the species sometimes known as egrets are simply white-coloured herons with decorative plumes, and not a biologically distinct group (although one could also define true Egrets as the members of genus Egretta). The classification of the individual heron species is fraught with difficulty, and there is still no clear consensus about the correct placement of many species into either of the two major genera, Ardea and Egretta.

The Boatbill is sometimes classed as a heron, and sometimes given its own family Cochlearidae.

Although herons resemble other families, such as the storks, ibises and spoonbills, unlike the latter groups, herons fly with their necks retracted, not outstretched.

Herons typically feed in shallow water or marshes, taking fish, frogs or small birds and mammals. In February 2005 the Canadian scientist Dr Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian IQ in terms of their innovation in feeding habits. Herons were named among the most intelligent birds based on this scale.


ORDER CICONIIFORMES

See also

es:Garza fr:Hron zh:鹭属

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