One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large fish-eating wading bird with long legs, a long S-shaped neck, and a long pointed bill.
Family Ardeidae (the heron family): several genera and numerous species, e.g. the Old World grey heron (Ardea cinerea). The heron family also includes the bitterns and egrets
- ‘It was one of the trees that often allowed a heron or egret a perch during the summer, but they were all gone now.’
- ‘On cold windy mornings, the heron folded its neck, hunched into itself and faced the wind.’
- ‘Winter habitat is varied, but these herons frequent forested swamps.’
- ‘For example, herons are widely known to place a floating object, such as a bread crumb or feather, on top of water as a lure for minnows.’
- ‘Birders flock to this region to gaze at bald eagles, great blue herons, and more than 300 other species of birds.’
- ‘Most important, these islands are home to the herons for which the tour was named.’
- ‘Eventually, a female Wood Duck swam along and spooked the heron, so we moved along.’
- ‘You're likely to see waders as well as a variety of herons, stilts, and even the endangered West Indian whistling duck.’
- ‘We passed egrets nesting in the mangrove and great mats of water hyacinth with lilac flowers; we saw fish-hawks and blue herons and watched the crocodiles being fed.’
- ‘It is expansive, easy to look out over and often adorned with one or two stately great blue herons.’
- ‘Kingfisher, heron and little grebe are also now a common sight.’
- ‘The creek also is home to ospreys and great blue herons.’
- ‘Unlike most herons, the Green Heron does not typically nest in large colonies.’
- ‘This stately bird is the largest and most widely distributed of the North American herons.’
- ‘The birdlife is extremely rich here, and you can expect to see rarities such as the goliath heron, the largest heron in the world.’
- ‘Continue to the head of the loch, whose muddy shore provides a fine habitat for wading birds and where herons are often stationed at intervals, patiently waiting to catch their prey.’
- ‘This adaptability also enables them to winter farther north than most herons.’
- ‘I also spotted a male kingfisher, herons and several dippers.’
- ‘Great Egrets can be found feeding in flocks of their own kind or with other herons.’
- ‘The Cattle Egret is a small heron, usually found near grazing mammals.’
Middle English: from Old French, of Germanic origin.
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