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Related to Ardeidae: Threskiornithidae


(vertebrate zoology)
The herons, a family of wading birds in the order Ciconiiformes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(herons), a family of birds of the order Ciconiiformes. The body measures 28–140 cm in length, and the neck and legs are long. The skin of the crusis is partly naked. The digits are long and slender, and the middle claw is comb-edged. The bill is straight and sharp. The plumage is lax, with two to four pairs of patches of powdery down. Coloration is gray-blue, gray, brown, or white, often with longitudinal markings.

The 66 species that constitute the family are distributed throughout the globe except in polar regions, predominantly in the tropics and subtropics. The USSR has 16 species, including the little bittern and other bitterns, night herons, the squacco heron, cattle egret, common heron, purple heron, and reef herons.

Herons that inhabit temperate latitudes are usually migratory. Bitterns keep to dense coastal thickets, while other species inhabit open ground along the banks of bodies of water and moist meadows. They nest in colonies, often together with other birds, such as cormorants, spoonbills, and glossy ibises. The nests are built on trees, shrubs, or broken reeds. The female lays three to seven eggs of solid color, which are incubated by both the female and male. The fledglings are covered with sparse down and stay in or near the nest for a long period.

Herons feed on small fish, frogs, mollusks, insects, and sometimes rodents or young birds. They watch for their prey while standing immobile in shallow waters or catch it while wading.

The boat-billed heron (Cochlearius cochlearia) is often assigned to the Ardeidae.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
2013: Breeding success of Black crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) and Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) (Aves: Ardeidae) in relation to nest height in the South Caspian Sea.--Italian Journal of Zoology 80(1): 149-154.
and Fasola, M., 1992, "The relationship between feeding habitat and colonial nesting Ardeidae", Managing Mediterranean Wetlands and their Birds, 194-201, IWRB, U.K.
Search Specles Lists Legend Dashboard LC map Pcdaymbus Pied-Billec Podicpedidae 26 LC podiceps Grebe Map Ardea Great Blue Ardeidae 25 LC herodias Heron map Botaurus American Ardeidae 25 LC lentinginosus Bittern map Butulcus ibis Ceate Egret Ardeidae 25 LC map Casmecodius Great Egret Ardeidae 25 LC albus map Ixobrychus Least Bittern Ardeidae 25 LC exlis map Nycticorax Black-Crowned Ardeidae 34 LC nycticcrox Night-Heron map Cathartes Turkey Cathartidae 35 LC aura Vulture map Falco Merlin Falconidae 35 LC cclumbarius map Falco American Falconidae 36 LC sparverous Kestrel map Accpiter Cooper's Hawk Accipitridae 36 LC cooporli map Accipiter North Goshawk Accipitridae 36 LC gentilis
Ardeidae Egretta ardesiaca Black heron Bubulcus ibis Cattle egret Egretta alba Great egret Ardea cinerea Grey heron Egretta intermedia Intermediate egret Egretta garzetta Little egret Egretta garzetta Lesser egret Ardea purpurea Purple heron Ardeola ralloides Squacco heron 4.
Japanese encephalitis virus is maintained in nature in a cycle involving mosquitoes and birds belonging to the family Ardeidae (10).
McKilligan (University of Southern Queensland) describes the 14 birds species in the family Ardeidae currently living in Australia, and characterizes their distribution and movement, lifespan, feeding and breeding behavior, population size, and conservation status.
ARDEIDAE - Real: Nycticorax nycticorax, Syrigma sibilatrix, Casmerodius alba; Null: Ardeola ibis, Butorides striatus, Egretta thula, Ardea cocoi.