The IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group

Heron Behavioral Terminology

Understanding and communicating about heron biology requires a common language. One of the more confusing aspects of biology is communicating observation on behavior.  So it is important to maintain consistency in the terminology in behavioral terminology so as to allow ready comparisons between independent studies. A common terminology for courtship, breeding, feeding and maintenance behavior has long been used in heron studies. These are summarized in The Terminology of Courtship, Nesting, Feeding and Maintenance in Herons. Biologists and conservationists are encouraged to continue use of these terminologies and to use them in participating in knowledge updates.