10 Heron Facts
1. The blue heron is the most common and largest of North American herons.
2. Great blue herons are waders, typically seen along coastlines, in marshes, or near the shores of ponds or streams.
3. They are expert fishers. Herons snare their aquatic prey by walking slowly, or standing still for long periods of time and waiting for fish to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills.
4. Great blue herons have been known to choke to death by attempting to swallow fish too large for their long, S-shaped necks. Though they are best known as fishers, mice constitute a large part of their diet, and they also eat insects and other small creatures.
5. Great blue herons’ size (3.2 to 4.5 feet/1 to 1.4 meters) and wide wingspan (5.5 to 6.6 feet/1.7 to 2 meters) make them a joy to see in flight.
6. They can cruise at some 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers) an hour.
7. Though great blue herons hunt alone, they typically nest in colonies. They prefer tall trees, but sometimes nest in low shrubs.
8. Females produce two to seven eggs, which both parents protect and incubate.
9. Chicks can survive on their own by about two months of age.
10. The all-white color morph found in the Caribbean and southern Florida is often called the great white heron, but it is in fact the same species.
Native Americans believe that the great blue heron is nature’s representation of the ability to evolve and to find one’s own way. They are a reflection of the journey to self-realization and clarity of purpose. Their long delicate legs are likened to unusual pillars of strength. “The Great Blue Heron is a majestic bird who teaches us the wisdom of standing still, waiting patiently, while what we need comes to us.” Read more of this Care2 article.
Watch: The Great Blue Heron
Please share your heron stories. I would love to know what to do about my “scattering” of herons (that’s what a grouping of herons are called). I am assuming there may not be much I can do. I love having fish in the pond, but if I stock the pond again…