Great blue heron

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Project Description

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodius

 

Range/Geographical Distribution: Found from coastal Alaska, south-central Canada, and Nova Scotia south to Mexico and the West Indies.

Habitat: Lakes, rivers, marshes, and ponds. 

Similar Species: Little blue heron, and tricolor heron.

Description:  A large bird with a blue/grey belly, wings, and back and a white crown stripe and black plumage extending from behind the eye.  Shaggy grey feathers on its neck and back. Yellow bill and light grey legs. 

Size: Length: 38-54” Wingspan: 65-79” Weight: 2100-2500g

Food: Fish, invertebrates, reptiles, birds, mammals, and amphibians.

Breeding:  Lays five to seven green/blue eggs on a shallow platform of sticks usually placed in a tree but can also be found on the ground or concealed in reeds.  Nests in colonies.

Predators:  Bobcats, coyotes, bald eagles, hawks, and crows.

Conservation Status: Listed as least concern by IUCN.

Interesting Facts: The white version of the great blue heron, called the great white heron, is actually a white morph of the same species and is found exclusively along the coast of southern Florida, in the Yucatan Peninsula, and in the Caribbean.

On the Coast: Great blue herons are numerous along Georgia’s coast. They can be seen nesting in groups up to a hundred individuals in treetops near open water.

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