Great Blue Heron
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Pelecaniformes
- Family: Arfeidae (Heron Family)
- Genus: Ardea
- Species: Ardea herodias
The Great Blue Heron has a wingspan of 6′ and stands at 4′ tall.
Blue herons are easily recognizable as a very large, blueish-gray bird. Their is no sexual dimorphism. Their back and wings are blueish-gray and their underside is slightly darker. When in flight, the primary flight feathers are darker than the other parts of the wings. There is often a patch of black feathers in the shoulder area. Their face is white and they have black stripes over their eyes. The center of the crown is white. They also have plumes behind their head that are black.
They stand on long, stick-like, grayish-brown legs. The bottom of their bill is an orange to yellow and the top is dark.
Prey: fish, frogs, snakes, other birds (ducklings), rodents
Blue herons may stalk their prey slowly or wait motionless. They typically swallow their prey whole.
Blue herons lay between 2 and 7 eggs. Both males and females incubate eggs.
20-30 mph (32-48 km/hr)
The Great White Heron in Florida is the same species with a different coloration.
Report your Great Blue Heron Sightings by adding a marker on our Great Blue Heron Range map here.