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Class Aves
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Ardeidae

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Ardea alba—Great Egret // Ardea herodias—Great Blue Heron // Botaurus lentiginosus—American Bittern // Butorides striata—Striated Heron // Egretta caerulea—Little Blue Heron // Egretta thula—Snowy Egret // Nycticorax nycticorax—Black-crowned Night-heron

Ardea alba Linnaeus 1758—Great EgretDistribution of regional fossil Ardea alba

Great Egret

Fig. 1. Great Egret. Photograph by Troutrooper, public domain.

Sites.

Mid Wisconsin: McKittrick (Jefferson 1991a); Térapa (Steadman and Mead 2010).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Literature. Jefferson 1991a; Steadman and Mead 2010; Stock and Harris 1992.

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Ardea herodias Linnaeus 1758—Great Blue HeronDistribution of regional fossil Ardea herodias

Great Blue Herons are large wading birds whose primary food consists of small fish, but it also will eat a wide variety of invertebrates and small vertebrates. Currently, it is widespread throughout the region.

Fig 1. Great Blue Heron. Photograph by Dave Pape.

Great Blue Heron

Sites.

?Late Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Emery Borrow Pit (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid Wisconsin: Térapa (Steadman and Mead 2010).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992); San Miguel Island (Guthrie 1998).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Stanton's Cave (Rea and Hargrave 1984).

Literature. Guthrie 1998; Jefferson 1991a; Rea and Hargrave 1984; Steadman and Mead 2010; Stock and Harris 1992.

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Botaurus lentiginosus (Rackett 1813)—American BitternRegional distribution of Pleistocene Botaurus lentiginosus

As with the Great Blue Heron, current distribution of this marsh dweller is from within Canada to well south of the U.S.

American Bittern

Fig. 1. American Bittern. Photograph by Jerry Segraves.

Sites.

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Literature. Stock and Harris 1992.

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Butorides striata (Rackett 1813)—Striated HeronRegional distribution of Pleistocene Butorides striata

Sites.

Mid Wisconsin: McKittrick (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Literature. Jefferson 1991a; Stock and Harris 1992.

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Egretta caerulea (Linnaeus 1758)—Little Blue HeronRegional distribution of Pleistocene Egretta caerulea

Little Blue Heron

Although the current geographic range is the southeastern third of the U.S. and coastal areas south of the U.S.-Mexican border, numerous records are present from southern Canada and the remainder of the United States (Sibley 2000).

Fig. 1. Little Blue Heron.

Sites.

Mid Wisconsin: McKittrick (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Literature. Jefferson 1991aSibley 2000; Stock and Harris 1992.

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Egretta thula (Molina 1782)—Snowy EgretRegional distribution of Pleistocene Egretta thula

Sites.

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Literature. Stock and Harris 1992.

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Nycticorax nycticorax (Linnaeus 1758)—Black-crowned Night-HeronRegional Pleistocene distribution of Nycticorax nycticorax

Sites.

Mid Wisconsin: McKittrick (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Late Wisconsin: Maricopa (Jefferson 1991a).

Literature. Jefferson 1991a; Stock and Harris 1992.

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Last Update: 8 Feb 2014