Great blue herons (Ardea herodias) are River Legacy native birds that can be seen year-round. Though they are a rather common sight near bodies of water and most people are familiar with them, did you know these interesting facts about them?
- Great blue herons are the largest North American herons! They can be up to 54 inches tall and have a wingspan of up to 79 inches.
- Despite these measurements, they barely register a weight of about 5 to 6 pounds. This is mainly due to the fact that their bones are hollow, a characteristic they share with most birds.
- Because of special neck bones, they can be incredibly fast hunters at a distance. This is especially striking when they are hunting for fish.
- They build their nests usually on trees in colonies. These large colonies can, sometimes, have up to 500 nests!
Next time you are taking a walk through River Legacy, be on the lookout for great blue herons in a pond or creek. In addition, our annual Great Backyard Bird Count Festival is coming up on February 17th from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. There will be bird hikes throughout the event and perhaps a great blue heron can be spotted that day! You can also learn more interesting facts about other species of birds. More information about the event can be found here.