Ocean City Ardeidae – Herons, Egrets, Bitterns

Ocean City Ardeidae

Welcome to the Ocean City Ardeidae page, here we will document through photographs and videos the Ardeidae – Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns we have found around the Ocean City Maryland USA area…

What Are Ardeidae?

Ardeidae are a Family in the Order of Aves (Birds) Pelecaniformes, they include the Species Herons, Egrets and Bitterns.  They are known for their long legs and long necks, they are found in coastal area and inland waterways.

Great Egret | Ocean City Ardeidae

Photographer: Robert J Banach | Date: August 8 2015 | Location: Lighthouse Cove, Fenwick Island, DE

Scientific Classification (Taxonomy) of Ardeidae

Kingdom: Animalia >> Phylum: Chordata >> Class: Aves >> Subclass: Neornithes >> Superorder: Aequornithes >> Order: Pelecaniformes >> Family: Ardeidae

How Many Species Of Ardeidae Are There

Depending on the source there are 18 Genus with 66 extant (living) Species, they can be found on all continents except Antarctica. [1]

How Many Species Of Ardeidae Are In Maryland

According to the Maryland Biodiversity Project there are 8 Genus with 12 Species that have been identified in the State of Maryland. [2]

How May Ocean City Ardeidae Are There

In Worcester County all 12 of the identified Maryland Species have been documented, with the Reddish Egret being the only one that has been seen anywhere in Maryland.  We will document the Ardeidae we have identified in the Ocean City area below…

Ocean City Ardeidae – Genus: Ardea

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Great Egret | Ocean City Ardeidae
Great Blue Heron
(Ardea herodias)
Great Egret
(Ardea alba)


Ocean City Ardeidae – Genus: Butorides

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Green Heron
(Butorides virescens)


Ocean City Ardeidae – Genus: Nycticorax

Black-Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) | Ocean City Ardeidae
Black Crowned Night Heron
(Nycticorax nycticorax)


Fun Facts About Ardeidae

  •  Native American tribes believe the Heron is a symbol of wisdom
  • Ardeidae have specialized feathers that do not, like most birds molt, instead these ‘powder down’ feathers fray from the ends creating a fine powder that assists in keeping slime and oil from sticking to them
  • The ‘clutch’, the eggs the female lays, is usually 3 to 7, and both the male and female share responsibility during the 18 to 30 day incubation period
  • During the breeding season ardeidae are very vocal, the rest of the year they are normally very quiet

Help us learn more about the Ardeidae and all the wildlife around the Ocean City MD area, submit your photographs and videos…  Click Here!

 Learn More About Ardeidae

 MD Biodiversity Project | Oiseaux Birds | Wikipedia

<< Ocean City Birds and Ornithology


[1]  Ardeidae Genus and Species List on birdforum

[2]  Maryland Biodiversity Project – Ardeidae