My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets

Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets

Order: Ciconiiformes Family: Ardeidae
The family Ardeidae contains the herons, egrets, and bitterns. Herons and Egrets are medium to large-sized wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more secretive. Unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills, members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted. There are 11 Michigan species.

American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus

Least Bittern, Ixobrychus exilis

Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias

Great Egret, Ardea alba

Snowy Egret, Egretta thula

Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea

Tricolored Heron, Egretta tricolor

Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis

Green Heron, Butorides virescens

Black-crowned Night-Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Nyctanassa violacea


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