Photographing the Herons and Egrets side by side has made it very clear the different types of relationships mated pairs have.
These 2 Great Egrets. Are as close as I have ever seen a pair.
The birds here are touching each other as a bond, not a usual Egret trait. Even mated pairs fight often.
Great Blue Herons are much the opposite and actually show affection towards their mate.
I have been told at the start of breeding season even mated pairs don’t recognize each other until they display plumage and perform the mating ‘dance’…again.