Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)

Scientific Classification
Species:Ardea herodias
Common:Great blue heron

The Great Blue Heron is common near shores and wetlands of North and Cenbtral America. It is the largest North American heron.



Male and female adults are similar in appearance. They are blue-gray overall, with black flight feathers, red-brown thighs, and a paired red-brown and black stripe up the flanks. The neck is rusty-gray with black and white streaking down the front. the head is paler, with a nearly white face, and a pair of black plumes running from just above the eye to the back of the head. The feathers on the lower neck are long and plume-like; it also has plumes on the lower back at the start of the breeding season. The bill is dull yellowish, becoming orange briefly at the start of the breeding season, and the lower legs gray also becoming orangey at the start of the breeding season.


Juveniles are duller than the adults with a dull blackish-gray crown and the flank pattern only weakly defined. They have no plumes, and the bill is a dull gray-yellow.