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This small heron can be difficult to observe. It was originally grouped with the Striated Heron (B. striata) that lives in Central America.

Appearance

While breeding, Green Herons have long back plumes and glossy orange legs. While nonbreeding, these herons have a greenish black cap and back, a short, rufous neck, a white chin, thin, strait, black bill, yellowish legs and feet, and a cream streak extending from the throat to the belly. Juvenile herons have white speckles on their wings and a paler bill.

Green Herons are small herons with a length of 14 1/2 to 15 1/2 inches (37-39 centimeters) and a wingspan of 25-27 inches (63-68 centimeters). They weigh 7-9 ounces (200-250 grams).

Occurrence

They are inhabitants of dense thicketed wetlands, but occasionally dry land close to water across much of North America, but are missing in the plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the western deserts for they do not provide appropriate wetlands. They winter in coastal wetlands.

Behavior

Green herons are secretive and solitary birds, usually seen alone, in pairs, or in small flocks.

Mating season for Green Herons are from March-July. Males will snap their bills before mating. Their nests of twigs are often in bushes or trees and over water but also on land. They have one to two broods with three to five eggs in each. Green herons can live up to ten years.

Green Herons feed on mainly fish, but also frogs, insects, and spiders. They catch their prey by standing quietly on the shore or in shallow water and striking quickly when prey is found, lunging forward with their whole body.

Green Herons have direct, and a bit plodding flights usually over short distances. They fly like gulls; continually flapping, with slow, steady wing beats.

When flying away from a perceived danger, they emit a loud keow-like squawk. When disturbed at the nest they use a series of raspy clucks that sound like kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk. They also give harsh screams.

Status

The Green Heron's status is secure, or Least Concerned.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Green Herons are intelligent, using tools to lure prey.
  • Green Herons can also swim and dive to catch prey.
  • Green Herons have wandered as far away from its usuall range as England and France.
  • Green Herons are called Garcita Verde (in Spanish) and Héron vert (in French).
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