Great Blue Heron Juvenile

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

All About Birds states:

Whether poised at a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wingbeats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for this widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind.

Juvenile Great Blue Herons are medium-gray like the adult, but have two-toned bills and a streaked neck. Impressive birds, Great Blues stand about 4 feet high and have a wing span of about 6 feet. The first set of pictures was taken from the kayak in a friend’s wetlands.  The heron seemed oblivious to my presence, and I watched as it flew in fairly close to me and began to feed on the many small fish.

Great Blue Heron

This photo shows the streaked chest and light rusty spots like head lights at the front of the outstretched wings.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Herons fly with their necks curved into an S-shape, and their wings are also two-toned, light and dark.

Great Blue Heron

Coming in for a landing!

Great Blue Heron

Putting on the brakes!

Great Blue Heron

Made it!  The next set of pictures are from the lake at Montour Preserve, taken this morning, again from the kayak in the morning sun.  This bird saw me coming and didn’t let me get quite as close.

Great Blue Heron

This young Great Blue Heron has places to go!

Great Blue Heron

Note the lower yellow bill and the upper black bill.  The chest is streaked with gray.

Great Blue Heron

Ready for take off!  What a beautiful sight!


Lauren Shaffer

Lauren Shaffer wrote 146 posts

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  • Veronica bonino

    Thank you for your beautiful blue heron pictures. I have been unable to id a bird I keep seeing by my two bird books. Your pictures really matched up with the one I took today. Bonita Springs Fl. Veronica

    • Lauren Shaffer

      Glad they helped with the ID! You live in a great place to see lots of different herons and egrets!

  • danmark

    Amazing…amazing…amazing Heron!!! Look at that photo, captioned “ready to take off photo” -see the straight line from the neck to the legs…I love this bird! My question is “why can’t this cute bird be called the grey heron, looks more of grey to me than blue?”.

    Lovely bird, lovely photos!

    Danmark Owuor from Kisumu, Kenya. EAST AFRICA.

    • Lauren Shaffer

      Thank you, Danmark! In certain light, the Great Blue Heron looks more blue-gray than gray, although I admit it looks gray in this post!

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