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Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
The great blue heron is a large wading, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest North American heron and, among all extant herons, it is surpassed only by the Goliath heron (Ardea goliath) and the white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis). The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America, as far north as Alaska and the southern Canadian provinces. The range extends south through Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean to South America. Birds east of the Rocky Mountains in the northern part of their range are migratory and winter in Central America or northern South America. From the southern United States southwards, and on the Pacific coast, they are year-round residents. However their hardiness is such that individuals often remain through cold northern winters, as well, so long as fish-bearing waters remain unfrozen (which may be the case only in flowing water such as streams, creeks and rivers). The great blue heron can adapt to almost any wetland habitat in its range. They may be found in numbers in fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded meadows, lake edges, or shorelines. They are quite adaptable and may be seen in heavily developed areas as long as they hold bodies of water bearing fish. Great blue herons rarely venture far from bodies of water but are occasionally seen flying over upland areas. They usually nest in trees or bushes near water's edge, often on island (which minimizes the potential for predation) or partially isolated spots. The primary food for great blue heron is small fish, though it is also known to opportunistically feed on a wide range of shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents and other small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and small birds. Herons locate their food by sight and usually swallow it whole. Herons have been known to choke on prey that is too large. It is generally a solitary feeder. Individuals usually forage while standing in water but will also feed in fields or drop from the air, or a perch, into water. This species usually breeds in colonies, in trees close to lakes or other wetlands. Males incubate for about 10.5 hours of each day while females usually incubate for the remainder of each day and the night, with eggs left without incubation for about 6 minutes of each hour. Cropped only; otherwise untouched.

Mercurose, cammino have particularly liked this photo


Comments
Jeff Farley
Jeff Farley
This shot is a real beauty Kris and many thanks for posting in 'Fur, Fin and Feather'.
19 months ago. Edited 19 months ago.
Mercurose
Mercurose
These blue heron have the patience for not moving until they catch their meal, they can stay for a very long time just there without moving!
12 months ago.