Green Heron

Butorides virescens


Side profile of a Green Heron

Image by Felix Uribe on Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.0

Physical: Green Herons are a relatively small heron, growing to 22 inches.  The adult has a gray-green or gray-blue back and wings and a black crown.  The neck is chestnut-colored, and the legs are bright orange. Green herons make a loud “skewk” sound.

Habitat: B. virescens lives mainly on freshwater or brackish marshes, near clumps of trees.  They range from the northern United States to the Gulf of Mexico and west to Texas.

Feeding: Herons feed primarily on insects, frogs, small fish, and crabs.  When hunting, Green Herons stretch their head and neck forward and jab at their prey.

Breeding: B. virescens builds a loose nest of sticks in trees or thickets and deposits 3-6 pale blue or green eggs.  Breeding occurs throughout their range in freshwater and brackish areas.

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