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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron with its catch.

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to coastal Spain, the Azores, and areas of far southern Europe. An all-white population found only in the Caribbean and Florida was once treated as a separate species and known as the great white heron. [Wikipedia]

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Whether poised at a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wing-beats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for this widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind. [All About Birds]

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron eating a fish.

Great Blue Heron Facts [All About Birds]

  • Thanks to specially shaped neck vertebrae, Great Blue Herons can quickly strike prey at a distance.
  • Great Blue Herons have specialized feathers on their chest that continually grow and fray. The herons comb this “powder down” with a fringed claw on their middle toes, using the down like a washcloth to remove fish slime and other oils from their feathers as they preen. Applying the powder to their underparts protects their feathers against the slime and oils of swamps.
  • Great Blue Herons congregate at fish hatcheries, creating potential problems for the fish farmers. A study found that herons ate mostly diseased fish that would have died shortly anyway. Sick fish spent more time near the surface of the water where they were more vulnerable to the herons.
  • The oldest recorded Great Blue Heron was found in Texas when it was at least 24 years, 6 months old.

10 comments on “Great Blue Heron

  1. rugby843 says:

    Beautiful pictures. The first one is certainly a lucky catch!☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah, I think he is a pro. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rugby843 says:

        I nominated you for the song a day challenge. https://rugby843.blog. Check it out ; )

        Like

      2. Thank you, I will be participating. ☺

        Liked by 1 person

      3. rugby843 says:

        I thought you might!😉☺

        Like

  2. Audrey says:

    Nice capture of the pro 😉

    Like

  3. Dainty says:

    Super cool Rene!

    Like

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