Flight of the Blue Heron


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Stay at least 1, feet away from active rookeries in order to prevent individual birds and colonies from abandoning their nests, and to assure that they return to their nest site each year. Human disturbance is the biggest cause of nesting failures. Most active during dusk and dawn; abundant throughout the breeding season mid-April to late June and the summer.

Most migrate for the winter.

Great Blue Heron - Watchable Wildlife

Great blue herons are very tall birds about 4 feet! Only the pure white great egret approaches this stature among other Massachusetts birds.

Flight of the Blue Heron

The "blue" for which the species is named is pale and subdued, and often appears gray or black in poor light. Great blue herons have straight, daggerlike bills for spearing fish, and adults have thin black plumes swept back behind their heads.


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Great blue herons are widespread in North America. They nest from southeastern Alaska and central Canada, south through Florida and Mexico. They winter over much of its breeding range, which extends as far south as the West Indies and the Galapagos Islands.

Ode to the Great Blue Heron - Scientific American Blog Network

Migrating great blues arrive in New England as early as the latter part of March, and migrate southward between mid-July and late September. Some birds winter over and are found in coastal areas or where freshwater remains open. The most common place to find great blue herons is at the edge of a wetland, where they will stand stock-still, tracking the movements of fish and frogs and waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

The increase in beavers in Massachusetts has resulted in swamps where trees have died, creating ideal habitat for nesting great blue herons. Great blue herons nest communally in "rookeries" or "heronries" containing up to 50 pair. Herons typically use the same rookery every year until eventually the trees collapse.

Flight Of The Blue Heron

Here are some more facts about these beautiful birds. A great blue heron could be even taller than you! Great blue herons are big birds, but they only weigh between 5 pounds and 6 pounds. They are light because their bones are hollow.

Ode to the Great Blue Heron

In fact, all birds have hollow bones. These herons nest in large colonies.

Sometimes nests or more are located in one area. They usually build their nests in trees or bushes, but sometimes on the ground. Great blue herons are one of more than 60 herons in the world.

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