Ardeidae – Herons, egrets & bitterns

Swordsmen of the birds world

Members of the family Ardeidae are among the most lethal wetland predators thanks to their long, daggerlike beaks, which they employ to skewer fish and other prey. These birds are usually waders that can patiently wait in the water for food to swim by and then strike with lightning speed to capture their prey.

They range from open marshes and coastlines to savannas and deep woods, but they are almost always found near or on bodies of water. They can be recognized in flight by their retracted necks. The diet of an ardeid is quite diversified, consisting primarily of aquatic and terrestrial animals and invertebrates.