Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

This large heron( the largest in N.A) appears bluish gray from a distance. Up close they have a black stripe over the eye and a yellowish orange bill. These herons will live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats and will forage in marshes looking for prey. They will stalk frogs, fish and mammals and essentially eat anything within striking distance. They will use their bills to grab or impale prey before gulping them down. Great Blue herons are not picky with their nesting sites and will build nests in trees, on the ground or on artificial nest structures. Males will arrive in the area and collect material before courting the female and presenting the nest to her. The female will then weave a platform with a nest cup out of the materials. They will lay 2-6 eggs( 1-2 broods) which are then incubated for 27-29 days.