Herons

Herons and Bitterns - Family Ardeidae

American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus. Uncommon in winter, spring, and fall in Gulf Coast region. Rare inland in fall, winter, and spring. Found in marshes and along shrubby swamp borders. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis. Breeder. Uncommon to fairly common during spring, summer, and fall in Gulf Coast region, but rare in winter. Uncommon to rare inland during spring, summer, and fall. Found in marshes and along shrubby swamp borders. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias. Breeder. Common throughout state in all seasons. Feeds in shallow water of ponds, lakes, and rivers. Low Conservation Concern.

Great Egret Ardea alba. Breeder. Common throughout year on Inland Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast regions. Common to fairly common in spring, summer, and fall in Tennessee Valley and Mountain regions, but uncommon to rare in winter. Feeds in shallow water. Low Conservation Concern.

Snowy Egret Egretta thula. Breeder. Common throughout year in Gulf Coast region. Rare to uncommon in spring and early summer in Inland Coastal Plain region, but fairly common in late summer and early fall. Rare to uncommon during spring, summer, and fall in Tennessee Valley and Mountain regions. Feeds in shallow water. Low Conservation Concern.

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea. Breeder. Common in summer, but uncommon in other seasons in Inland Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast regions. Rare to uncommon in spring to mid-summer in Mountain and Tennessee Valley regions, but fairly common in late summer and early fall. Feeds in shallow water. Low Conservation Concern.

Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor. Breeder. Fairly common to common in all seasons in Gulf Coast region.  Rare during spring, summer, and fall in Inland Coastal Plain and Tennessee Valley regions.  Feeds in shallow water. Low Conservation Concern.

Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens. Breeder. Fairly common in spring, summer, and fall in Gulf Coast region. Feeds in shallow brackish and salt water, mostly on mudflats. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis. Breeder. Common in spring, summer, and early fall in Inland Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast regions, and rare in winter. Uncommon in Mountain region in summer, but rare during spring and fall. Fairly common in summer and early fall in Tennessee Valley region, but rare to uncommon in spring and late fall. Feeds mainly in fields with cattle. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Green Heron Butorides virescens. Breeder. Common in spring, summer, and fall in all regions. Rare in winter in Mountain, Inland Coastal Plain, and Gulf Coast regions. Feeds mostly at water’s edge. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax. Breeder. Uncommon in all regions throughout year. Feeds mostly at water’s edge. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa violacea. Breeder. Fairly common in the spring, summer, and fall in Gulf Coast region, but rare in winter. Uncommon in spring, summer, and fall in other regions, but occasional in winter.  Feeds at water’s edge or in wet meadows.  MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Ibises and Spoonbills - Family Threskiornithidae

White Ibis Eudocimus albus. Breeder. Fairly common in spring, summer, and fall in Gulf Coast region, but uncommon in winter. Uncommon in spring, summer, and fall in Inland Coastal Plain and occasional in winter. Rare in summer in Tennessee Valley and Mountain regions and occasional in spring and fall. Feeds in shallow water. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus. Breeder. Uncommon in Gulf Coast region in spring, summer, and fall, but occasional in other regions during those seasons. Found in marshes, on mudflats, and along shores of large bodies of water. Low Conservation Concern. 

White-faced Ibis Plegadis chihi. Historical breeder. Occasional in spring, summer, and fall mainly in Gulf Coast region. Found in marshes, on mudflats, and along shores of large bodies of water.

Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja. Occasional in summer and fall, mostly in Gulf Coast and Inland Coastal Plain regions. Feeds in shallow water.

Storks - Family Ciconiidae

Wood Stork Mycteria americana. Possible breeder. Fairly common in late summer and early fall, but occasional to rare in spring and late fall in Inland Coastal Plain region. Occasional in spring, summer, and fall in other regions. Feeds in shallow water. Listed as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Vultures - Family Cathartidae

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus. Breeder. Fairly common in late spring, summer, and fall, but uncommon in winter and early spring in Tennessee Valley region. Common throughout year in other regions. Found in agricultural and livestock areas. Lowest Conservation Concern.

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura. Breeder. Common in all seasons and regions. Found in wooded as well as open areas. Lowest Conservation Concern.

References Cited:

Mirarchi. Ralph E., ed. 2004. Alabama Wildlife, Volume One.  A Checklist of Vertebrates and Selected Invertebrates: Aquatic Mollusks, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.  The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 209 pp.

Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
©2008 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources   |   64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130