Great Blue Heron

Scientific Name:Ardea Herodias

Diet: Great Blue Heron’s eat a large variety of foods including fish, invertebrates, small mammals, reptiles, and small birds.

Habitat: Great Blue Heron’s are wetland birds, and they live in practically any place near water. These places include rivers, lakes, swamps, ponds, and marshes. They mainly inhabit slow-moving and calm water.

Range: The Great Blue Heron can be found all year in most of Washington and the southern U.S., but during the breeding season they live in the northern U.S. and southern Canada.

Sound: The Great Blue Heron’s call is a deep, gruff croak.

Nesting: Great Blue Herons nest in colonies in trees, usually near the water. The nest is a platform of sticks lined with moss, dry grass, twigs, and pine needles. They lay 2-7 eggs, which both the male and female incubate for 26 to 30 days. When the chicks hatch they are covered in down, and their eyes are open.

Behavior: Great Blue HeronsĀ  fly with slow, deliberate wing beats, and are often seen flying over or around wetlands. They hunt by standing very still in the water and waiting for prey. When prey comes they grab it with their bills. Great Blue Herons travel alone or in small groups of 2 or 3 birds.

Description/Field Marks: The Great Blue Heron is a very big bird, at about 3-4 feet long, and a wingspan of about 6 feet. They weigh up to 5 pounds. Great Blue Herons are a grayish blue color all over their bodies. They have white faces and crowns with dark superciliums. These birds have dark-colored head plumes, and the feathers on the bases of their necks are small feathers sticking out pointing downward. They have long orangey-yellow bills, and their legs are a muddy yellow color.

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