This large, beautiful bird can be found in many areas of the United States on either coast and is very distinct looking while both standing and flying. It can adapt to almost any wetland habitat and will be found in both fresh and saltwater marshes, swamps, flooded meadows and lake edges.
Its primary diet is fish and, if you are lucky, you can watch them catch their meal while stealthily parading around in the water. Unlike the American Eagle that spots their dinner from high above, the Blue Heron patiently waits for dinner to swim by his long legs then grabs it before it has a chance to escape.
These large birds find their prey with their eyes and usually swallow it whole. The type of meal depends on where they hunt and the abundance of supply. They are not limited to a special fish but also feed on shrimp, reptiles, small mammals, and other birds. Even though most of their hunting is done in the water they also look for mice in fields. Most of their activity is early dawn or dusk.
The great blue herons usually stay around the bodies of water nesting in trees or bushes near the water’s edge although occasionally can be see flying over upland areas. With a wingspan of between six and seven feet, their flight is very conspicuous and hard to miss.
A word of warning to those who have or are thinking about building a fish pond on their property – take precautions or you may someday find one of these beautiful creatures having a buffet at your expense.