Skip to content

Ardeidae

What is Ardeidae? I hear you ask. Well this is the name of the family that herons, bitterns and egrets belong to. For sometime this year I’ve been focusing my photography on herons and egrets and I have finally decided I’ve got enough images to produce a blog. Before we get any further I must inform you this blog contains an image some people may find disturbing.

Grey Heron

           Grey herons have nested at my local reserve for as long as I can remember. However, the little egret has only bred on the reserve for the last couple of years. In fact over ten years ago the little egret was a rare sight in Britain, and the appearance of a lone individual would cause a stir within the bird watching world.

Little Egret

           Standing between ninety and ninety-eight centimetres tall the grey heron is a large, long-legged grey and white bird. They are often seen standing motionless in shallow water or wading purposefully in search of fish. Juveniles resemble adults, but have more black and white markings and greyer underparts.Grey herons are one of the earliest nesters, with clutches of four to five eggs often being complete in March. Incubation of the eggs and the rearing of the chicks takes a lot longer than smaller species, seeing them fledged by July.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

           Standing at a mere fifty-six centimetres tall the little egret is a distinctive heron-like bird with pure white plumage. The breeding adult has long plumes on the nape and back. The legs are black with yellow feet and the bill is dagger like. Unlike their motionless cousins the little egret will be seen striding through the shallows in ambush. It will often shuffle along to flush out prey before making the strike. Breeding between May and June they will only lay two to three eggs.

Little Egret

Little Egret

           The diet between a little egret and a grey heron is surprisingly very different. The little egret feeds mainly on fish, but also amphibians and larger aquatic invertebrates, Whereas, the grey heron can be found eating fish, frogs and small aquatic life. But more shockingly they are known to eat birds and can even be found standing in fields during harvesting looking for mice, voles and other mammals.

Grey Heron

Little Egret

Grey Heron

           Hope you enjoyed the read and learned some new things about these large wading birds that are adapted for feeding in water. Feel free to share my work but please credit me. Please contact me for further details.

Little Egret

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: