family of birds is the heron
, egret and bittern
family of wading birds
The species in the Ardeidae which are named as bitterns tend to be the shorter necked, often more secretive members of this family. The herons are the longer-necked species.
The members of this family are all primarily associated with wetlands, and predate fish, frogs and other aquatic species. Some, like the Cattle Egret, also take large insects, and are less tied to watery environments.
A variety of techniques are used for hunting, and these are dealt with in the species' accounts.
Some members of this group nest colonially in trees, others, notably the bitterns, use reedbeds.
The heron family is one of the families in the order Ciconiiformes, which also includes other wading bird families:
- Order Ciconiiformes
- Family Cochlearidae, (Boatbill)
- Family Balaenicipitidae, (Shoebill)
- Family Scopidae, (Hammerkop)
- Family Ciconiidae, (storks)
- Family Threskiornithidae, (ibises and spoonbills)
- Family Ardeidae, (herons, egrets, and bitterns)
- Ardea, typical herons
- Philherodias, Capped Heron
- Butorides, green herons
- Ardeola, pond herons
- Bubulcus, Cattle Egret
- Egretta, egrets
- Agamia, Agami Heron
- Tigrisoma, tiger-herons
- Tigriornis, White-crested Tiger-Heron
- Zonerodius, New Guinea Tiger-Heron
- Zebrilus, Zigzag Heron
- Syrigma, Whistling Heron
- Nycticorax, night-herons
- Gorsachius, eastern night herons
- Ixobrychus, dwarf bitterns
- Botaurus, typical bitterns
- Family Phoenicopteridae (the flamingos) is related, and is sometimes grouped with the Ciconiiformes.