Wading birds are part of a larger group called Colonial-nesting waterbirds. These birds all gather in colonies at nesting time and get most or all of their food from the water.
Herons, egrets, bitterns, spoonbills, and storks are all members of this group. What makes them different than seabirds is that they feed in fresh water.
As global warming and pollution damage wetlands and beaches, wading birds are becoming endangered. Because they migrate long distances, any area along their path that is destroyed affects the birds.