Heron Name given to a common large wading bird family , including the bittern and the egret, found in most temperate areas but most common in tropical and sub tropical areas. Unlike their distantly related cranes and ibses, that fly with their heads extended straight forward, herons necks are folded back on their shoulders while in flight .
There drooping plumage is soft, especially at breeding and may have long snowy plumes on the head, and breast, and back. Herons are mostly solitary feeders, patiently stalking their prey(small fish and aquatic animals) in streams marshes and then stabbing them with their sharp serrated bills. Herons roost and nests in large colonies called heronries ; others are gregarious only at feeding time ; there are some that are entirely solitary .
Nests and vary from a scratchy plat form of twigs most often a balky mass of weeds and rushes that are built on the ground among the marsh reeds. American herons include Great and little blue herons, the yellow crowned and the black crowned night herons (the last the is also known as the night quawk , after it its cry ) , and the Louisiana heron, called by Audubon "the lady of the water's" and the Great White heron of Florida, a little larger than 50 in. long than the great blue , is a striking bird sometimes confused with the American egret .
Other herons, European night heron, ranges from North Africa to India. The odd looking snow billed heron is found along the white Nile and the boat billed heron in tropical America.
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