Station 9
Great Blue Heron


Physical Traits

Large, gray bird; long legs; long "S"-shaped neck; long, thick bill; white crown stripe; black plume extending from behind eye to off the back of the neck; shaggy feathers on neck and back; bluish gray back, wings, and belly; reddish or gray neck; white morph all white with pale legs, yellow bill.

Habitat

Found along calm freshwater and seacoasts. Usually nests in trees near water, but colonies can be found away from water. Great White Heron found almost exclusively in shallow marine habitats.

Diet

Fish, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals.

Behavior

Walks slowly, stands and stabs prey with quick lunge of the bill.

Nest Building Techniques

Nests in colonies, sometimes as lone pair. Nest a large platform of sticks, lined with pine needles, moss, reeds, dry grass, or twigs. Placed high in trees, occasionally on ground

Migration and Range

Short Distance Migrant.

Cool Facts

Although the Great Blue Heron eats primarily fish, it is adaptable and willing to eat other animals as well. Several studies have found that voles (mice) were a very important part of the diet, making up nearly half of what was fed to nestlings in Idaho. Occasionally a heron will choke to death trying to eat a fish that is too large to swallow.

An all white form is found from southern Florida into the Caribbean, and used to be considered a separate species, the Great White Heron.

Where is the Heron?

Standing at the numbered station post look to the left,
look across the drainage stream,
then look out into the swamp,
about 30 meters out look to the left of a large rock,
the Great Blue Heron replica is standing in the marsh grass.

Want a picture of where to look ??
Want to see the replica ??