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Great Blue Heron

Ardea Herodias


Large, elegant heron with blue-gray back, black sides, and gray-and-white striped belly. Long neck is gray with black-bordered white throat stripe. Head has white face, cap, and black crest. Upper mandible is dark, while lower mandible is yellow. Direct flight on steady wing beats.


Breeds locally from coastal Alaska, south-central Canada, and Nova Scotia south to Mexico and West Indies. Spends winters as far north as southern Alaska, central U.S., and southern New England. Preferred habitats include lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes.


Great Blue Herons congregate at fish hatcheries, potentially creating problems for the fish farmers. However, studies have shown that the herons tend to eat sick fish (which spend more time near the surface) that would have died anyway. They are the largest herons in North America. They eat mainly fish but will also eat other small animals. They have been known to choke to death on prey that is too large.

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YvetteForte 12 years ago

Thanks Alice!

alicelongmartin 12 years ago

Interesting information and good pictures!

Spotted by

Fort Myers Beach, Florida, USA

Spotted on Jun 10, 2011
Submitted on Aug 20, 2011

Spotted for Mission

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