Herons, Egrets & Storks (Ardeidae)
Herons are medium to large waterbirds, marked by slim bodies and long necks and legs. Their bills are relatively long and pointed, and the toes are long and unwebbed. In flight the neck is tucked behind the shoulders, creating a characteristic shape as their legs trail behind. Most species are expert fishermen, but some specialize in other aquatic life-forms. Nesting is colonial, either in trees or reed beds.
There are sixty-one species worldwide. Nine species breed in Europe, some of which are resident and some summer visitors.
Species seen but not photographed:
  • White-faced Heron: New Zealand (November 2001)
  • Night Heron: Spain (September 2010)
  • Black Stork: Bulgaria (June 2014)
  • Squacco Heron: France (April 2013)
  • Western Reef Egret: France (May 2013)
  • Little Bittern: Bulgaria (June 2014)
  • Dwarf Bitten: Fuerteventura (March 2018)