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Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

Description:

Great Blue Herons appear blue-gray from a distance, with a wide black stripe over the eye. In flight, the upper side of the wing is two-toned: pale on the forewing and darker on the flight feathers. Long legs, a sinuous neck, and thick, daggerlike bill. Head, chest, and wing plumes give a shaggy appearance. In flight, the Great Blue Heron curls its neck into a tight “S” shape; its wings are broad and rounded and its legs trail well beyond the tail.

Habitat:

Saltwater and freshwater habitats, from open coasts, marshes, sloughs, riverbanks, and lakes to backyard goldfish ponds. They also forage in grasslands and agricultural fields. Breeding birds gather in colonies or “heronries” to build stick nests high off the ground.

Notes:

I have watched the Great Blue Herons in the early morning feeding along the bay shoreline or in the evenings feeding along the bay or banks of the river. Observing Great Blue Herons perch, landing on the very tops of trees. After sunset look for a silhouette of a Great Blue Heron on treetops near the bay. Especially in calm weather.

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Hoquiam, Washington, USA

Spotted on May 20, 2012
Submitted on Jun 17, 2012

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