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Great blue heron

Ardea herodias


The largest North American heron. Great blues have blue-slate colored flight feathers, redish-brown thighs and a rusty-gray neck.with streaks of black and white. The feathers lighten towards the head with a nearly white face with a black stripe running over the top of the eye to the back of the head. The bill is a dull yellowish. The great blue heron has a harsh croak-like call that they often give when disturbed and flying away.


Found in fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded meadows, lake edges, shorelines and other bodies of water. It usually nest in trees or bushes.


Great Blue Herons use their long sharp bills to spear frogs and fish which they can swallow whole. They have been known to choke on prey that is too large. Because these herons are one of the larger wading birds, they can forage for food in deeper water and utilize a niche area not accessible to most other herons.

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Karen Hileman
Spotted by
Karen Hileman

Florida, USA

Spotted on Aug 5, 2012
Submitted on Aug 5, 2012

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