Great Blue Herons

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Wild Birds of Florida

The Great blue heron is one of the largest birds in the Banana River and Indian River lagoons. They have long necks, beaks, and legs as well. Great blue herons are wading birds, meaning they wade into the water and do their fishing and scavenging.

A Common Question: How large are Great Blue Herons?

Cameron’s Answer: The Great Blue Heron stands up to 4.5 feet, with a wingspan of up to 6.5 feet.

Seeing a Great Blue Heron is an Awe-Inspiring Experience

It’s awe-inspiring to see a Great Blue Heron standing as still as a statue and then exploding on fish when they swim too close. They are familiar sights in open waters and wetlands in Florida, North America, and Central America.

Great Blue Heron Beside the River

Great Blue Heron Beside the River

A Solitary Feeder

A lone eater, the great blue heron, typically consumes food about half the length of its bill. They will occasionally consume small rodents, reptiles, and crawdads in addition to tiny fish. They frequently travel great distances from their nest in quest of food. They typically remain motionless in the water while waiting patiently for prey to come. They quickly snare their target with their scissor-like beak once the prey is in view.

    Great Blue Heron Flying Over Banana River

    Great Blue Heron Flying over the Banana River

    Great Blue Heron Flying

    Great Blue Herons are occasionally seen in grassy areas near water and lakeshores, rivers, ponds, and streams. Nesting colonies are frequently found on islands or in forested swamps, places that deter snake and animal predation.

      Great Blue Heron Eating a Fish

      Great Blue Heron Eating a Fish

      Great Blue Heron Beside the Banana River

      Great Blue Heron Beside the Banana River

      Approaching a Great Blue Heron

      Approaching a Great Blue Heron

      Great Blue Heron in Florida

      Great Blue Heron in Florida

      Great Blue Heron Chicks

      The female heron may lay three to seven eggs following courtship. Both parents participate in incubating the eggs, which takes about 28 days. Every few hours, the eggs are turned over to ensure that the developing embryo receives an equal amount of heat.

      Hatching takes place in late April or early May. The months of May and June are busy ones at the heronries since it is common to witness adult birds bringing food to the developing nestlings. In most cases, by early July, the baby herons fledge.

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