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great blue heron

Ardea herodias

Description:

this great blue spotted already has a catch and was trying to swallow it whole. It is the largest North American heron and, among all extant herons, it is surpassed only by the Goliath Heron and the White-bellied Heron. It has head-to-tail length of 91–137 cm (36–54 in), a wingspan of 167–201 cm (66–79 in), a height of 115–138 cm (45–54 in), and a weight of 2.1–3.6 kg (4.6–7.9 lb). Notable features include slaty flight feathers, red-brown thighs, and a paired red-brown and black stripe up the flanks; the neck is rusty-gray, with black and white streaking down the front; the head is paler, with a nearly white face, and a pair of black plumes running from just above the eye to the back of the head. The feathers on the lower neck are long and plume-like; it also has plumes on the lower back at the start of the breeding season. The bill is dull yellowish, becoming orange briefly at the start of the breeding season, and the lower legs gray, also becoming orangey at the start of the breeding season. Immature birds are duller in color, with a dull blackish-gray crown, and the flank pattern only weakly defined; they have no plumes, and the bill is dull gray-yellow.[3][7][8] Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 43–49.2 cm (17–19.4 in), the tail is 15.2–19.5 cm (6.0–7.7 in), the culmen is 12.3–15.2 cm (4.8–6.0 in) and the tarsus is 15.7–21 cm (6.2–8.3 in).The heron stride is around 22 cm (9 in), almost in a straight line. Two of the three front toes are generally closer together. In a track the front toes as well as the back often show the small talons.

Habitat:

The Great Blue Heron can adapt to almost any wetland habitat in its range. They may be found in numbers in fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded meadows, lake edges, or shorelines. They are quite adaptable and may be seen in heavily developed areas as long as they hold bodies of water bearing fish. Great Blue Herons rarely venture far from bodies of water but are occasionally seen flying over upland areas. They usually nesting in trees or bushes near water's edge, often on island (which minimizes the potential for predation) or partially isolated spots


No species ID suggestions

23 Comments

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Glen

Glen Marks
Glen Marks 6 years ago

Great series!

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks EnvUnlimited

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Kranti

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks small wonders

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Ava

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

Thanks Alice

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Karen

KarenL
KarenL 6 years ago

That's quite a capture (your & the heron's!)

alicelongmartin
alicelongmartin 6 years ago

He has a built in spear! Very Nice! You got some excellent action!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 6 years ago

This spotting could go in the Hunters and Animal Feeding Behavior mission at http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/8463...

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 6 years ago

Great series Susan!

KrantiAzad
KrantiAzad 6 years ago

awesome !

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Yuko...yes a big prize indeed

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Carol

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 6 years ago

excellent!

YukoChartraw
YukoChartraw 6 years ago

He got the big prize! Beautiful shot!

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Josipa

SusanEllison
SusanEllison 6 years ago

thanks Luis

Josipa Masic
Josipa Masic 6 years ago

my favorite bird!

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 6 years ago

Great series Susan!

Texas, USA

Lat: 27.82, Long: -97.42

Spotted on Mar 5, 2013
Submitted on Mar 9, 2013

Reference

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