British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Great Blue Heron
Description - This bird is grey-blue with black
stripes over the eyes and black streaks on its white foreneck;
the bill is yellow. Ornate plumage on the head, neck and
back decorate the breeding adult. Heights average 39-52
inches. A harsh squawk characterizes its call.
Distribution - The Great Blue Heron resides along
lakes, ponds, rivers and marshes from coastal Alaska,
along south-central Canada to Mexico on the west coast.
Biology - This adaptable birds large size enables
it to prey on a variety of animals including fish, mice,
small birds and insects. This wide variety of feed enables
the heron to stay farther north during the winter months
(as long as there is open water) longer than other species.
Most of these birds nest in large groups amongst tall
trees or in reedbeds; 3-7 pale greenish-blue eggs on a
shallow platform of sticks lined with a finer material
characterize the nest. The young herons disperse in the
late summer and can be found at small ponds, in mountain
waters or wherever there is fish.