Herons of America

As of 2/4/2023 I have finally seen every species of egret, heron and bittern native to the United States! The last species was an American Bittern spotted at Corkscrew Swamp in South Florida. These birds form the taxonomical family Ardeidae.

Herons and Egrets

Herons and Egrets are long-necked carnivorous waterbirds that hunt fish and small animals with their spear-like bills. They inhabit beaches, ponds and wetlands. 'Egret' typically refers to species with white plumage, but they are not a distinct group separate from herons.greegr

Great Egret


Snowy Egret


Reddish Egret


Cattle Egret


Great Blue Heron


Little Blue Heron


Tricolored Heron


Green Heron


Bitterns are migratory herons that typically live in swamps and wetlands. They are well camouflaged, and very reclusive. They can often be found in reed beds where they hunt for fish. Both American species seem to exhibit this interesting behavior where they stick their head up and wiggle in an attempt to imitate a reed swaying in the wind. They are very hard to find here in central Florida and are only present for part of the year.leabit

Least Bittern


American bittern


Night Herons are small, stocky nocturnal herons with a wide distribution across the coastlines of the Americas. They can be found near any body of water, fresh or saltwater, usually in shaded areas slightly out of view. Both species are very common in Florida and they can often be found together.bcnher

Black-crowned Night-Heron


Yellow-crowned Night-Heron