Heron the Great
No wonder the largest of North American herons received the honorable title of Great Blue Heron. Their wingspan can extend up to seven feet and their height four feet (that of an average seven-year old girl). Just watch them fly and the powerful whosh whosh pumping of their magnificent wings will leave you in awe. Surprise one and their voiced krrak will startle you!
Solitary hunters patiently standing by lake or stream, their elegance commands your admiration. Dressed in blue-gray plumage with accents of brown, white, and black their plumed head, neck and back speak of gatherings in high places. Breeding season calls them to unite in treetop colonies.
Hunter and hunted, only a little more than thirty percent of their young survive ascent to adulthood. From egg to adulthood, they are prey to raccoons, bears, eagles, hawks, turkey vultures, and even crows. Sensitive to environmental change, they adapt by finding new aquatic territories in which to pursue a variety of watery delicacies from their favorite, fish, to small mammals, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects. A good life will be lived into the mid-teens. As with all wild birds, habitat loss is a threat, but great blue herons thrive in healthy fresh and saltwater ecosystems.
What a splendid bird to admire and enjoy.