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Green Heron

Butorides virescens


I believe this to be a young blue Heron. At first I thought it was a Bittern, however, when looking at the photographs at about 150% it has blueish feathers on it's back and wings. It also has a very long neck, and when flying it looks blue from the back side. It's actions were very similar to that of a standard Heron, it would only fly a little ways away at any one time. It would then land and perch and watch me as I tried to sneak in for a closer shot. This is the best photo I was able to get of the bird, as it wouldn't let me get close enough for a full framed close up shot with my 55-250.


I was actually going to take photos of the salmon running up stream here locally from Lake Ontario to their various spawning grounds. I stumbled (quite literally) upon the bird. He flew up in my face as I trying to catch myself and keep my gear from landing on the ground. (was not one of my most graceful moments). Any help with ID would be GREAT!

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BrandonBlount 9 years ago

Thank you Dana! I hope to get many more photos of this guy as they are pretty rare here. (I am an avid outdoors-man, and I have never seen one of these guys)

Thank you HG!!!! They are def the same species. I will change over the name too reflect the correct species. :-D

hg_williams3 9 years ago

the behaviour u described told me if you dont see them they will let you get close before flying up by the way how does it ca-ca-ca i would think

hg_williams3 9 years ago

yea thts def a green heron

BrandonBlount 9 years ago

Sarah, it's neck and legs are proportionate.

Dana, it does look strikingly close to the Green Heron, however, if so, it's the first I've ever seen here in Western NY. It's not typically a common site here. Although not impossible. It's rather blue on the back side. I am certain I will see it again. As it was very hesitant to leave the area completely. I will have to pack in more gear and my bigger lenses to see if I can get a better close up.

Thank you both for your help!!!

whirl_up_sea 9 years ago

I have seen a lot of Great Blue Herons here, but I can't recall ever seeing a baby Blue. When it stands up, are its legs and neck proportionately very long, like the adult Blue Heron? I am looking at pictures of young Blue Herons online, and this bird looks more stocky and "compact" than they do, though it might just be very young.

Spotted by

New York, USA

Spotted on Sep 27, 2011
Submitted on Sep 27, 2011

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