Green Heron: Dr J Murray Speirs

You may hear a cough in the sky and looking up see a bird about the size and the manner of flight of a crow but with long, dangling yellow legs and a sharp pointed bill. In my experience Green Herons seldom look green, usually a dusky blue back and brownish purple face and neck are the general impression, but they do have a green gloss in good light on the wings and back. They are often seen leaning forward from a rock or stump at the water’s edge, raising the crest and flicking the tail, patiently waiting for dinner to come by. I have found nests low in deciduous trees and high in dense cedars, sometimes solitary and then again in small groups.

This is a small, crow-sized, stockily built heron, with other special characteristics noted above, not likely to be confused with any other species. The young are more streaked below than the adults and have green rather than orange-yellow legs.



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