Wildlife to Visit of the Family Ardeidae

Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta )
Bluebell woods.
Carpet of Bluebells. © Angie Muldowney cc

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There are 5 wildlife species pictured below. Some species can only be seen during certain months. Wildlife that has been observed at this time of year are shown first preceeded by a green bar. Wildlife that can be seen at a different time of year is show last preceeded by a blue bar.

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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) All year round.
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Family: Ardeidae (Herons)

Habitat: Lakes and reservoirs, ponds, rivers and streams, wetlands and freshwaters and estuaries.

Size: Height 1 m (3 ft 3 in).

Food: Fish, small birds, small mammals and amphibians.

Voice: Far carrying kaark.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Typically wades in shallow waters looking for fish and amphibians.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) © JJ Harrison cc
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) All year round.
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Family: Ardeidae (Herons)

Habitat: Coastal areas and estuaries.

Food: Fish, insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and reptiles.

Voice: Honks and shrieks.

Season: All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

They stalk their prey in shallow water, often running with raised wings or shuffling their feet to disturb small fish. They may also stand still and wait to ambush prey.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) © GDW45 cc
Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) All year round.
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Family: Ardeidae (Herons)

Habitat: Lowland raised bog, valley mire and reedbeds.

Size: Length 69-81 cm (27-32 in), wingspan 100-130 cm (39-51 in).

Food: Fish, amphibians and insects.

Voice: Deep soft rising and falling booming. Boom-boom, boom-boom.

Season: All year round. All year round.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

If disturbed, it often points its bill upwards and freezes to blend into the surrounding reeds, an action known as bitterning.

Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) © Giuseppe Calsamiglia cc
Great White Egret (Ardea alba) All year round.
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Family: Ardeidae (Herons)

Habitat: Wetlands and freshwaters.

Size: Length 80-104 cm (31-41 in). Wingspan 131-170 cm (52-67 in).

Food: Fish, frogs, small mammals, small reptiles and insects.

Season: All year round. More frequently spring and winter.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern


Great White Egret (Ardea alba) © Jack Wolf cc
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) All year round.
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Family: Ardeidae (Herons)

Habitat: Farmland, grasslands and lakes and reservoirs.

Size: Length 46-56 cm (18-22 in). Wingspan 88-96 cm (35-38 in).

Food: Insects and worms.

Season: All year round. Winter more likely. Rare visitor.

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A very successful species that has undergone a rapid and wide reaching natural expansion.

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) © Photograph by Bernard Spragg. NZ.
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