Herons Of Vietnam – Pittidae

With 20 species of Herons of Vietnam, occurring over the country, all of them are really easy to see in every corner of Vietnam. They are easy to find because of their appearance although with many colors but quite hard to ID what species in this family especially 5 species of Egret

The overview of Herons families

The Herons are long-legged, long-necked, freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 72 recognized species in the world, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns rather than herons. Members of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus are referred to as bitterns, and, together with the zigzag heron, or zigzag bittern, in the monotypic genus Zebrilus, form a monophyletic group within the Ardeidae. Egrets do not form a biologically distinct group from herons and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white or have decorative plumes in breeding plumage. Herons, by evolutionary adaptation, have long beaks.

The classification of the individual heron/egret species is fraught with difficulty, and no clear consensus exists about the correct placement of many species into either of the two major genera, Ardea and Egretta. Similarly, the relationships of the genera in the family are not completely resolved. However, one species formerly considered to constitute a separate monotypic family, the Cochlearidae or the boat-billed heron, is now regarded as a member of the Ardeidae.

Although herons resemble birds in some other families, such as the Storks, Ibises, Spoonbills, and Cranes, they differ from these in flying with their necks retracted, not outstretched. They are also one of the bird groups that have powder down. Some members of this group nest colonially in trees, while others, notably the bitterns, use reed beds. A group of them is called a “siege.”

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Some Highlight Herons of Vietnam species

White-eared Night-Heron - Heron of Vietnam

White-eared Night-Heron Gorsachius magnificus

Status: Uncommon resident – Endangered sp.

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb

Tour cover: Ba Be

Hotspot: Ba Be Np.

Herons Of Vietnam - Chinese Egret

Chinese Egret Egretta eulophotes

Status: Scarce Migrant – Vulnerable sp.

Best time to watch & Photo:

Tours: South Vietnam

Hotspot: Can Gio, Xuan Thuy, Go Cong

26 WANEE asia

Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis

Status: Uncommon Migrant

Best time to watch & Photo: UNKNOW

Tours: South Central Vietnam

Hotspot: Bach Ma

27 WANEE asia

Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus

Status: Common resident

Best time to watch & Photo:

Tours: Throughout Vietnam

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Yok Don, Tan Phu

Herons Of Vietnam - Grey Heron

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea

Status: Local fairly common resident

Best time to watch & Photo:

Tours: Throughout

Hotspot: Di Linh, Dalat, Tram Chim, Cat Tien

28 WANEE asia

Pacific Reef-Egret Egretta sacra

Status: Common Migrant

Best time to watch & Photo:

Tours: Mekong & Red River Delta

Hotspot: Can Gio, Xuan Thuy, Go Cong

Herons Of Vietnam - Malayan Night Heron

Malayan Night Heron Gorsachius melanolophus

Status: Local common resident

Best time to watch & Photo:

Hotspot: Tram Chim, Can Gio, Cat Tien, Ma Da

29 WANEE asia

Striated Heron Butorides striata

Status: Local common resident

Best time to watch & Photo:

Tours: throughout

Hotspot: Ma Da, Tan Phu, Can Gio, Yok Don

List of all Herons in Vietnam

NameLevel
1Great BitternHard
2Yellow BitternEasy
3Schrenck’s BitternLack Data
4Cinnamon BitternEasy
5Black BitternEasy
6Grey HeronEasy
7Great-billed HeronLack Data
8Purple HeronEasy
9Great EgretEasy
10Intermediate EgretEasy
11Chinese EgretEasy
12Little EgretEasy
13Pacific Reef-HeronEasy
14Cattle EgretEasy
15Chinese Pond-HeronEasy
16Javan Pond-HeronEasy
17Striated HeronEasy
18Black-crowned Night-HeronEasy
19White-eared Night-HeronHard
20Malayan Night-HeronHard

Note: Hard – Really hard to see; Maybe – …..; Easy – Easy to see with guide; Impossible – Weak info; Lack Data – Consider out of list

All Vietnam Birds Families

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