great blue heron (Ardea herodias)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 38 inches Wingspan: 70 inches

  • Sexes similar

  • Huge long-legged long-necked wader

  • Usually holds neck in an "S" curve at rest and in flight

  • Long, thick, yellow bill

Adult:

  • White crown and face

  • Black plume extending from above and behind eye to beyond back of          head

  • Brownish-buff neck with black-bordered white stripe down center of     foreneck

  • Blue-gray back, wings and belly

  • Black shoulder

  • Shaggy neck and back plumes in alternate plumage

Immature:

  • Black cap

  • Brownish-gray back and upperwings

  • Lacks shaggy neck and back plumes

  • Lacks black plume extending from behind eye

"Great White Heron":

  • White morph of great blue heron

  • Large yellow bill

  • Yellow legs

  • White plumage

  • Single white plume extending back from above eye

  • Found only in South Florida, rarely north along the coast

Similar species:

Tricolored heron has white belly. Reddish egret and little blue heron are
smaller, and lack white on head and yellow in bill. "Great white heron"
could be confused with great egret but is larger, with yellow legs and the
single head plume coming from behind the eye.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: N/A
Breeding Habitat: Wetland-open water
Nest Location: N/A
Nest Type: N/A
Clutch Size: 3-6
Length of Incubation: 28 days
Days to Fledge: 56-60
Number of Broods: 1
Diet: Mostly fish; lesser quantities of aquatic invertebrates, small
   mammals, reptiles or amphibians

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
U
      Su - Summer: June, July, August U
      Fall: September, October, November U

      Winter: December, January, February U

 

 

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