Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron: 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.
Range and Habitat
Great Blue Heron: 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.
The Great Blue Heron’s range is located throughout Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, and many territories in North America. These include Alaska, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They prefer to live near bodies of water, both fresh and salt varieties. This species is commonly found among marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded meadows, edges of lakes and shorelines. Nesting takes place in tress and bushes near these sources of water. Their diet consists of shellfish, insects, rodents, amphibians, reptiles and small birds. The current conservation status of the Great Blue Heron is Least Concern.
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.
A group of herons has many collective nouns, including a "battery", "hedge", "pose", "rookery", and "scattering" of herons.