Great Blue Heron

(Ardea herodias)

Info coming soon...

Length: 3 ft 2.2" to 4 ft 5.9"

Weight: 4 lbs 10.1 oz to 5 lbs 8.2 oz

Wingspan: 5 ft 5.7" to 6 ft 7.1"

Lifespan: The oldest recorded Great Blue Heron was at least 24 years old & found in Texas.

Diet consists of fish primarily, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects, and other birds. Prey is located by sight day or night. Their bills are used to impale large prey which is swallowed whole. At times they may choke on prey that is too large. Generally they are solitary feeders that hunt in shallow waters usually around dusk & dawn. They are able to capture prey from deeper water areas not utilized by other heron species.
Partial migrant. Great Blue Herons along the Pacific Coast as far north as southeastern Alaska can be permanent residents.

Nest construction takes from 3 days up to 2 weeks.

Clutch size: 2 to 6 pale blue eggs. 1 to 2 broods

Incubation: 27 to 29 days. Males incubate for about 10.5 hrs per day. Females usually incubate for the remainder of the day and night. Eggs are left without incubation for about 6 min of each hour. Eggs hatch asynchronously over a period of several days. When chicks hatch their eyes are open and bluish in color. They are able to vocalize and are covered in pale gray down. The first chick to hatch often grows faster than its siblings since it has more experience in food handling and can be more aggressive in interactions with its siblings.

Fledging: 49 to 81 days. Both parents feed the young by regurgitating food (parent birds can consume up to 4 times as much food when they are feeding young chicks than when laying or incubating eggs). Fledged birds follow adults to foraging areas and return to the nest to be fed for about another 3 weeks. Success in capturing prey is about half that of adults during the first 2 months after fledging. Over the winter they gradually stop returning to the nest area.


  1. "Great Blue Heron, Life History". All about birds, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved October, 2016.
  2. "Great Blue Heron". Audubon Guide to North American Birds. Retrieved October, 2016.
  3. "Great Blue Heron". Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October, 2016.