Great Blue Heron

Category: Order: Family: Conservation Status:


Size & Shape: 

When standing on the ground, an adult Great Blue Heron stands over one metre tall. Great Blue Herons have a long, thin neck and a high rounded back that resembles a "hunchback".

Distinctive Markings: 
The Great Blue Heron has a white head with two black stripes, starting from their bright yellow eyes and ending on the back of their head. Their back is grey/blue, and their chest is white with black streaks.

Great Blue Herons are sociable birds that can be classified as lone birds and birds of flock. Great Blue Herons flock together as a defence mechanism against predators, and nest in colonies.

Life History


Great Blue Herons can be found in various kinds of habitats, such as fresh or salt water marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded meadows, lake edges and shorelines. They usually nest in trees or bushes.

Great Blue Herons breed in colonies (also known as heronry or rookery). They make their nests in the tops of trees and they leave the lower branches for different bird species to make nests. The size of the colonies may be very large, ranging from 5 - 500 nests, with an average of 160 nests per colony. Great Blue Herons build a large nest made of sticks where the female lays 3 - 6 pale blue eggs. There is usually only 1 brood per year, but if the eggs are eaten, there is a possibility that the pair will have a second brood.


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