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Pictures of Great Blue Herons, Heron Facts
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Great Blue Heron Standing On Dock


Great Blue Heron Standing On Dock

Great Blue Heron on log


Great Blue Heron on log

Great Blue Heron extreme closeup


Great Blue Heron extreme closeup
Great Blue Heron on log

Great Blue Heron standing in water


Great Blue Heron standing in water

Great blue heron flying in front of dam


Great blue heron flying in front of dam

Heron in reeds


Heron in reeds

Heron on milfoil


Heron on milfoil

Great blue heron flying over pond


Great blue heron flying over pond

Heron flying over pond


Heron flying over pond
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Great Blue Heron pictures taken in the wild at ponds and lakes.

I received this e-mail from someone describing an interesting great blue heron behavior, and I was able to find other people who had seen the same thing: "Last Thursday I have experienced a rare documentation of the Blue Heron in fishing activity that I tried to authenticate in the Internet and came upon your page. I'll try to describe you the 'case' and wonder if you have experienced it as well. It was documented in a nature feature on one of the French TV channels, showing a Blue Heron or alike, observing some kids who were throwing bread pieces to a band of ducks in a lake. He then stoled a large piece of bread in his beak and flew away to the other shallow coast of the lake. There, he threw the wet piece away to his front as a bate and waited. The bread sinked in the shallow water and nothing happened. He picked it again and threw it for the second time. The bread floated this time and a rather large fish reached it after some 15 seconds to take a bite, but the Heron was faster and cached him with his sharp long beak. Although the fish was a bit large to swallow, few throat exercises broght the catch to slip in. As one who documented this beautiful bird in fishing activity, have you ever seen such a technique? I think it's one of the most clever among living creatures, a technique man has developed to an extreme."

 

The Great Blue Heron is also referred to as a Crane or a Blue Crane.  It maintains a year round population in most of the United States as well as up the western coast of Canada. In southern Canada and some northern parts of the United States, it will migrate south during the winter, down into Central America.

The Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America. It has an amazing wingspan of 77-82 inches and can stand up to 52 inches tall.  The most unique feature of this heron is it's S-shaped neck. The heron folds its neck into this shape when it flies. This is typical of other types of herons as well. This heron has a long yellowish beak (which turns orange colored during the breeding season), a white neck, a blue-gray body and a short grayish tail. It's large wings are gray-black with white patches on the tops.  It has a red-brown patch right above it's long legs, which are blackish, becoming orangish during the breeding season.

In flight, the Great Blue Heron lets its long legs trail behind its body. When not flying, it's legs are together. They can stand for long periods of time, waiting patiently in the water for fish. These birds are also known to feast on insects, reptiles, amphibians and small birds.  It can also feed in deeper waters, but often feeds in shallow waters during the dusk or dawn hours. It also uses it's long legs for walking slowly through the water or other marshy, grassy areas.

The Great Blue Heron is a monogamous bird. They build their nests 20-60 feet above the ground. In the northern areas, birds have 1 brood per year, and in the southern areas they can have 2. They have 2-7 eggs per brood. Babies remain in the nest for almost 30 months.