Friday, July 22, 2011

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

All The Birds Of North America: Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

In the shallow waters of a marsh or pond, this magnificent bird is often seen standing motionless, waiting patiently for the movement of a fish, frog, or salamander to break the stillness of the water's surface: Then it strikes with its long, pointed bill The Great Blue Heron builds a flimsy platform nest of sticks; its colonies may include just a few pairs or several hundred birds. It usually dwells in the tops of tall trees; in California, it has been known to nest 100 feet up in tall redwoods.

Identification : 39-52". Large, with wingspan up to 7'. Grayish, with long yellowish bill; head white, with black on crown and nape, legs dark. Immature similar to adult but paler, with all-black crown.

Voice: A harsh croak; usually silent.

Habitat: Marshes, ponds, lakes, and rivers.

Range: Breeds throughout United States and ร. Canada, but absent from deserts and high mountains. Winters throughout most of ร. United States and along coasts north to ร. Alaska and New England.

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