Great Blue Heron
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.