What is the difference between an egret and a heron?


There is no anatomical difference that separates egrets and herons. Originally, the word "egret" was reserved for the birds in this family that had "aigrettes", the fancy, plume feathers that were favored for hats, etc. Over time that changed, and some "egrets" don't have aigrettes, while some "herons" do. So the only difference between egrets and herons is their name.