Great Blue Herons

To make it easier to picture the great blue heron in the wild, browse the images below.

 

Great blue herons (ardea herodias) can be found in any watery habitat from Alaska and Canada, down through the United States into Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the northern tip of South America. They are a partial migrant, moving only when the water freezes over and a rare vagrant to Europe.

The great blue heron is a opportunistic feeder, eating mainly fish, but will devour almost anything edible that comes within striking distance. It tends to stand very still waiting for its prey to come to it. You will see it wading slowly, up to belly deep in water, or standing like a statue.

They build stick nests in bushes or trees in colonies, usually over water or on a small island surrounded by water. They lose the occassional chick that falls out of the nest to alligators, but in exchange the alligators keep other predators like raccoons from getting to the nests.

Catfish For Dinner

A great blue heron captures a catfish in the marshes beside the Lake Apopka North Shore Wildlife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Testing The Water

A great blue heron submerges its beak in the waters of the marsh beside the Lake Apopka North Shore Wildife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Blue In The Bush

A great blue heron hunts in the marshes beside the Lake Apopka North Shore Wildlife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Great Blue Heron With Fish

A great blue heron captues a fish in the marsh beside the Lake Apopka North Shore Wildlife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Great Blue Foraging

A great blue heron forages beside the Lake Apopka Northshore Wildlife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Wading Great Blue

A great blue heron wades in the shallows of Tampa, Florida's Lettuce Lake Park.

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A Coy Glance

A great blue heron glances over its shoulder in Tampa, Florida's Lettuce Lake Park.

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Panting Blue

A great blue heron pants to help cool itself off on a hot day at Lakieland, Florida's Lake Morton

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Preening Great Blue

This great blue heron was preening itself in a marsh beside the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Preening Great Blue BW

This great blue heron was preening itself in a marsh beside the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive in Orange County, Florida.

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Lake Morton Fly Over

A great blue heron flying over Lakeland, Florida's Lake Morton.

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Taking Flight

A great blue heron takes flight from a cypress tree on the shores of Lakeland, Florida's Lake Parker.

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