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Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Related shows:

Regal Great Blue Heron

Tall and prehistoric-looking, the Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America. Great Blue Herons are often seen flying high overhead with slow wing-beats. When foraging, they stand silently along riverbanks, on lake shores, or in wet meadows. Quickly then, they stab at their prey.... read more »


Heron Nest - Start with one stick

Every spring, Great Blue Herons build sprawling nests high in trees, in colonies. The male heron finds and brings the sticks, and the female decides what goes where. Learn more about herons at Cornell's All About Birds. During nesting season, view a heron cam. And watch a video by Greg Dodge of... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

Great Blue Heron, Alone Again

Great Blue Herons nest in colonies, in adjoining trees or with several nests in one tree. But by autumn, the adults and gangly young have left the nests to take up solitary lives, a pattern that is the reverse of many other species. After all the "togetherness" of the nesting colonies, the Great... read more »


The Heron and the Snake

It's a rough world for a young Great Blue Heron. A mere one egg in ten results in an adult heron. Only a little more than 25% of fledglings survive their first year. Michael Hobbs witnessed a battle between a young heron and a snake. Successful foraging takes practice. In a trial-and-error world,... read more »

Topics & Themes:  listener story

Heron Habitat Helpers

In Seattle, in a secluded ravine just steps away from a busy ship canal, nearly 100 pairs of Great Blue Herons return each year to nest. A group of citizens called Heron Habitat Helpers has helped this colony thrive. Their president, John “Hooper” Havekotte, credits the founders, Donna Kostka and... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, nesting

Tribute to Cynthia Lufkin 1962-2013

Today’s show is dedicated to Cynthia Lufkin, friend of BirdNote, birds, and places important to birds. The music was composed by BirdNote’s Nancy Rumbel, and performed by Nancy on oboe and Eric Tingstad on guitar. The words are drawn from Kentucky poet Wendell Berry’s memorial to a dear friend... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion