Herons are members of a large family of wading birds that includes 65 species of night-herons, typical herons, tiger-herons, egrets, and bitterns. They fly with their long necks retracted, which is how watchers can tell them from storks and cranes.
Great hunters, the Black Heron spreads its wings like a canopy and waits for prey to seek shelter in the shade. Other herons flick bits of feathers on the water or stir up the muddy bottom to attract prey.
In February 2005, a Canadian scientist announced that he had a method to measure birds' intelligence, based on the ways they hunt. Herons were named among the most intelligent birds based on this scale.