The Life of Animals | Heron | The Herons are medium to large sized birds with long legs and necks. The smallest species is usually Considered the Little Bittern, although all the species in the genus Ixobrychus many are small and overlap broadly in size. The largest species of heron is the Goliath Heron. The neck is Able to retract and extend, and is retracted During flight, unlike most other long-necked birds. The neck is longer in the day than the night Herons Herons and bitterns. The feet of Herons have long thin toes, with three forward pointing ones and one going backward
The bill is long and Harpoon Generally like. It can Vary from extremely fine, as in the Agami Heron, to thick as in the Grey Heron. The most atypical bill is owned by the Boat-billed Heron, the which has a broad thick bill. The feathers of the Herons are soft. Amongst the day Herons' there is little sexual dimorphism in plumage (except in the Pond-Herons) ifferences the between the sexes are the rule for the Night Herons and bitterns Smaller. Many species also have different color morphs. In the Pacific Reef Heron there are Both dark and light color morphs, and the percentage of each morph varies geographically. White morphs only occur in areas with coral beaches The Herons are a widespread family with a cosmopolitan distribution.
The Herons are a highly mobile family, with most species being at least partially migratory. Some species are partially migratory, for example the Grey Heron, the which is Mostly Mostly sedentary in Britain but migratory in Scandinavia. The members of this family are Mostly associated with wetlands and water, and feed on a variety of live aquatic prey. The diet includes a wide variety of aquatic animals, including fish, Reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic Insects. Individual species may be generalists or Specialise in Certain prey types, like the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, the which specialises in crustaceans, particularly crabs. Many Species Will also opportunistically take larger prey, including birds and bird eggs, carrion and more rarely .
Having seen the prey the head is moved from side to side, so That the heron can calculate the position of the prey in the water and compensate for refraction, and then the bill is used to spear the prey in Addition to sitting and waiting, Herons may feed more actively. Other feeding active Behaviours include foot stirring and probing, where the feet are used to flush out hidden prey. Herons may use items already in place, or actively add items to the water in order to attract fish. Three species, the Black-headed Heron, Whistling Heron and ESPECIALLY the Cattle Egret are less tied to watery environments and may feed far away from water. One study found That the success rate of prey capture Increased 3.6 times over solitary foraging.