Herons & their Allies

All images © 1998, 1999, 2000 Anthony Galván III

These wading birds range in size from the large Great Blue Heron to the small Bittern.


American Bittern Botaúrus lentiginósus A common marsh dweller. The bittern will freeze with its head pointing straight to blend in with the reeds in a swamp or marsh. Platte River, CO

Black Crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax Nocturnal birds, they are hard to spot during the day since they like to roost high in trees. This heron stayed with the Santa Barbara Wildlife Network pond for several weeks. Santa Barbara, CA.

Black Crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax A heavy-bodied water bird seen in fresh-water swamps and tidal marshes, this heron sleeps by day and fishes at night, Mt. Prospect, IL

Common Egret Casmeródius álbus Found in streams, fields, rivers, and fresh and salt-water ponds, this white heron flys with its neck in an open S. Goleta Slough, CA.

Common Egret Casmeródius álbusLike all egrets, fish is one of the basic food groups for this agile fisherman. Goleta Slough, CA.

Great Blue Heron Árdea heródias Late afternoon is feeding time for this heron on Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

Great Blue Heron Árdea heródias This is the largest of the dark herons. It stalks for prey on land and in the water. Lake Los Carneros, CA.

Great Blue Heron Árdea heródias On land this heron's appetite includes mammals such as this unluckey gopher. Lake Los Carneros, CA.

Green Heron Butorides virescens Found in both fresh and salt-water areas, this small bird looks more blue than green and generally dark looking. Mt. Prospect, IL

Green Heron Butorides virescens Look for this one where other water birds gather. Lake Los Carneros, CA.

Green HeronButorides virescens Curiosity will make this heron come out of hiding to see what's going on in the pond. Lake Los Carneros, CA.

Snowy Egret Leucophóyx thúla Found along side the common egret, the Snowy Egret's white plummage, thin black bill, and bright yellow feet help identify this smaller member of the heron family. Goleta Slough, CA.

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All images © 1998, 1999, 2000 Anthony Galván III
Any use without written permission is prohibited. For information use contact Tony Galván.