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This is the first book to deal exclusively with the Australian members of the Family Ardeidae (herons, egrets and bitterns). It gives a comprehensive, easy-to-read, account of their origins, classification and biology, and explains the features that distinguish them from other birds. The author devotes a major chapter to the 14 Australian species, covering their distribution and movements, feeding, breeding, population dynamics and conservation. In particular, the chapter on population and conservation provides a useful summary of the present status of the Australian herons. Some of Australia' s herons have become very scarce in the southern half of the continent and are at risk of national or local extinction. However, in the Northern Territory heron habitats and resources are largely pristine and consequently this region accommodates large numbers of certain species.
Introduction; 1. Herons of the world; 2. What makes herons different? 3. The importance of herons; 4. Australian species; 5. Distribution, movements and longevity; 6. Feeding and food; 7. Breeding; 8. Occasional Visitors; 9. Population dynamics and conservation