While some nests are built on the ground near a water’s edge, great blue herons mostly nest in colonies in trees near water. The Herons have a lifespan of 15 years to 24 years when living in the wild. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Also, the biggest chick is given the most amount of food by the parents. Belonging to the Ardeidae family, the Herons’ family includes egrets, night herons, and bitterns as well. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Around the world, the Ardeidae family contains approximately 60 species. We've created informative articles that you can come back to again and again when you have questions or want to learn more! Learn about the 10 egrets and herons found in North America. Learn about the 10 egrets and herons found in North America. The grey heron has similar plumage but has a gray neck and lacks the brown flanks of the great blue heron. There are 64 different species of herons that differ in size, color and type of habitat. They are also found in the West Indies and the Galapogos Islands. Get in touch with us and we'll talk... As Herons attempt to swallow their prey whole, they have been known to choke to death at times. Some populations like to migrate towards Central and South America. The great blue heron is the largest heron species in North America, standing about 4 feet tall. Great blue herons will eat almost anything within striking distance of their long beak. Thanks! This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. So for the entirety of one mating season, they only have one mate. On hot days, a great blue heron can be spotted with drooped wings and an open beak. The great blue heron is very closely related to the grey heron. Great blue herons are Canada’s most widespread heron, and are found from the Maritimes to British Columbia. 3. Great Blue Heron Size. Great Blue Heron Facts. Most of the Canadian population of this species is here only during the breeding season. These birds can survive and be found in almost any wetland habitat in North America. Also, herons are a source of food for animals like red-tailed hawks, bears, raccoons, eagles, and turkey vultures. 1. Young herons will fledge at around two months. When alarmed, herons may make make 3-4 hoarse croaks to warn others before taking off. Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird belonging to the Ardeidae family, which includes herons, egrets, and bitterns. While fish makes up a majority of their diet, these birds stalk everything from insects to small mammals. They walk slowly or stand absolutely still for a long time, and wait for their prey. Women would decorate their hats with Heron feathers which later on led towards the species’ depletion. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. 11 striking facts about great blue herons, How to listen to podcasts, and the best wildlife and nature ones to listen to, 60+ wildlife and nature books for children and teenagers, Hummingbird guide: species facts and where to see, Fascinating facts you (probably) didn’t know about curlews, Everything you need to know about the southern cassowary. Heron is a bird that can be easily confused with a stork, due to similarities in appearance. The great blue heron is the largest heron species in North America, standing about 4 feet tall. Take a look below for 28 more interesting and fun facts about herons. These birds prefer wetlands, swamps, coastlines and areas near rivers, ponds and lakes. They also tend to hold their head close to their body, keeping the neck slightly bent. The long neck is gray with a black-bordered white throat stripe. During the mating season, blue herons tend to stick to only one partner. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Our site includes quite a bit of content, so if you're having an issue finding what you're looking for, go on ahead and use that search feature there! The drooped wings allow air flow to help remove excess heat. There are 7 known subspecies of the Herons, one of which is the Great White Heron, the white form of the Heron. One of the largest and common herons in North America, the tall, long-legged Great Blue Heron is easily spotted along the shores or edges of small inland ponds. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Great Blue Heron Size. The average lifespan of a heron is 15 years in the wild, with captive herons living up to 25 years. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Did you know that this magnificent bird can fish both during the night as well as the day? They are considered expert fishers. Already have an account with us? Great blue herons are excellent fishers. It has a direct flight on steady wing beats. Herons like to add sticks to their nests each year so that they can re-use them. This can be a rare case as majority of herons don’t get to live that long. The primary diet of Herons consists of fish. Herons can be found on each continent except on Antarctica. Once their next meal is spotted, they will stretch out their long neck and freeze in place. However, they can quickly adapt to eating other animals like mice, frogs, lizards, snakes, dragonflies, grasshoppers, salamanders, crabs, shrimp, crayfish, small mammals, invertebrates, amphibians, and other aquatic insects. It is common to find these herons near the shores of open water and in the wetlands spread over most of North and Central America. Main image: Great blue heron. Their long, S-shaped necks makes it difficult for them to swallow fish which are too long or large. They are rarely found far from water. They’re essentially non-swimming waterbirds that feed on the margins of rivers, lakes, swamps, seas and ponds. You can unsubscribe at any time. 2. The great blue heron is very closely related to the grey heron. When the moment is right, they strike with their blade-like bill. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. 6789 Quail Hill Pkwy, Suite 211 Irvine CA 92603. Female herons lay 2-7 pale blue eggs and both parents take turn sitting on the nest to keep the eggs warm. The bird will be fluttering their throat muscles to increase evaporation, an action called “gular fluttering,” an avian version of panting. Great Blue Heron Nest But even though they are large birds, they don’t weigh much (only 5 to 6 pounds), thanks to their light, hollow bones (a trait most birds have). Another fact about this Heron is that while in flight, the wingspan of the Herons can be as wide as 6 feet. Blue herons are quieter as compared to other similar species. These birds can be spotted around shorelines and in shallow marshes, either slowly wading through the water or waiting patiently for their prey. Herons spend approximately 90 percent of their waking hours stalking for food. The head has a white face, cap and black crest. Great blue herons have specialised feathers on their chest that will grow continuously and fray into a powder. Standing at 91–137 cm with a wingspan of 167–201 cm great blue herons only weigh between 1.82–3.6 kg.