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Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)



Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Class: Aves
Family: Ardeidae
Common Name: Great Blue Heron
Genus: Ardea
Species Name: herodias

About The Great Blue Heron

At over a metre and half in height, the great blue heron is the largest heron in North America and one of the continent's most recognisable wading birds (2) (3). There are two main colour morphs of this statuesque species: a dark form that is mostly blue-grey, with chestnut thighs, and a white cap over a black eye stripe that merges into long, black plumes; and a light form which is all white. The neck, legs and wings are characteristically long, the tail is short, and the yellowish bill is thick, elongate and tapered. In flight, it coils its neck back into a distinctive s-shape, extends its legs back along its body axis, and beats its wings with steady, powerful strokes (2) (3) (4). Although the sexes are similar in appearance, the female is normally around ten percent smaller than the male, while juveniles are duller and lack the long plumes of the adults (4) (5). Considerable uncertainty surrounds the separation of subspecies of the great blue heron, with between two and seven recognised for North America alone (4). However, five main subspecies, that differ in size and plumage and occupy different parts of the species overall range, are commonly referred to: Ardea herodias herodias, A. h. fannini, A. h. wardii, A. h. occidentalis (the white form), and A. h. cognata (2) (4).

Rights Holder: Wildscreen

Trips Where Observed

Alaska 2010
Around The World in 66 Days
Dominican Republic
Galapagos Islands
Mexico to Panama
Mexico, Baja California Sur
Mexico, Nayarit
Mexico, Veracruz
Moving the Car
Puerto Rico
Queen Charlotte Islands
San Francisco 2007
Texas

Member Lifelists

Australasia
California
Ecuador
Galapagos Islands
Illinois
Mexico
North America
San Francisco
United States
World

Sites Where Observed

Location
Date
Notes
6/20/2004
Common. At one site, about 8 herons were being mobbed by about 20 crows.
8/10/2006
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Seen daily.
1/26/2009
Saw a large grey-backed heron near the Rio On Pools.
4/14/2013

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