When they are large mixed heronries, the Little blues are usually found nesting along the edges. According to the scientific research, the total population size of the species in the southeastern U.S. (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) is above 21,266 pairs. Little Blue Heron: Found along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Florida, but is most abundant along the Gulf of Mexico; also found in the West Indies and along both Mexican coasts south to South America. These herons prefer freshwater swamps and lagoons in the South, while on islands in the North they inhabit coastal thickets. [5] The body is more elongated than in Snowy Egret. © Oscar Johnson | Macaulay Library [2][5], This species is rather similar to the much larger and bigger-billed Reddish Egret. At 30 days old, they are able to fly out of the nesting area. It is also threatened in parts of its range by persecution because it forages at fish-rearing facilities, as well as by contamination from heavy metals and pesticides, when it forages in cultivated fields. Adults usually forage alone, while immatures usually feed in groups. Little blue herons live near fresh or salt water bodies, their dwelling places include wetlands like streams, lagoons, ponds, marshes, flooded grasslands, canals, ditches and fish hatcheries. [4] The little blue heron stalks its prey methodically in shallow water, often running as it does so. [2], Breeding adult birds have blue-grey plumage except for the head and neck, which are purplish and have long blue filamentous plumes. [7], These herons prefer freshwater swamps and lagoons in the South, while on islands in the North they inhabit coastal thickets. Habitat. While hunting it is a solitary bird, but it nests together with others in a small or large colony. At about 3 weeks chicks leave the nest, starting with short trips around the area of the nest. They become independent at around 42 to 49 days, and are able to breed at the age of one year. It is plausible that because of these advantages, they remain white for their first year.[2]. According to IUCN, Little Blue heron has an extremely large range but no overall population estimate is available. The legs and feet are dark blue/green or greenish. These young birds actually catch more fish when in the presence of the snowy egret and also gain a measure of protection from predators when they mix into flocks of white herons. During the 20th century, Little Blue Heron has extended its range northward and increased in population in many areas. Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). 1. Several of the largest colonies are located in the lower part of the Mississippi Valley, where these birds often nest together with Cattle egrets. This species is about 64–76 cm (25–30 in) long,[4] with a 102 cm (40 in) wingspan,[5] and weighs 325 g (11.5 oz). The male then performs a ‘stretch display’ to females, which involves an erect crest and neck feathers, pointing his bill upwards and a little lunge into the air. The Little blue heron is currently threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation in Florida and shifting land use linked to climate change is likely to intensify this threat, especially in coastal areas. As Little blues do not have long showy plumes as part of their breeding adult plumage, they largely avoid being hunted for feathers for hats and the consequent serious population decline. Immature Little Blues are similar to immature Snowy Egrets. They are gregarious birds and they nest in groups at the edges of other heron colonies. Outside of the mating season it may travel as far to the north as Canada. Habitat Little Blue Herons nest and forage in many kinds of wetlands, including swamps, marshes, ponds, streams, lagoons, tidal flats, canals, ditches, fish hatcheries, and flooded fields. Overall, currently Little Blue herons are classified as Least Concern (LC), however, their numbers today are decreasing. [4] They breed in sub-tropical and tropical swamps with mangrove vegetation, wetlands (bogs, fens, peatlands, etc.) This means that males will mate with only one female and females will mate with only one male. and marine intertidal salt marshes. Juveniles are not blue but are white for their first year, except the dusky tips of their outer primaries. It may also be threatened by competition from the exotic cattle egret, this bird being more aggressive than the other herons, being thought to out-compete the Little blues for food. [8], The little blue heron nests in colonies,[4] often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. They nest mostly in shrubs and small trees in standing water or upland sites on islands, including artificial islands created from dredged material. It prefers freshwater areas like ponds, lakes, swamps, marshes, and lagoons, but sometimes also occupies flooded and dry grasslands, and marine coastlines. Family: Herons, Egrets, Bitterns: Habitat: Marshes, swamps, rice fields, ponds, shores. Little Blue herons are rather silent, but when they flush they make a harsh, croaking “gerr”. [6], It is a medium-large, long-legged heron with a long pointed pale blue or greyish bill with a darker or black tip. 3 to 5 eggs are laid in April and incubation is for around 22 to 24 days, done by both parents. This bird feeds during the day, when its long legs allow it to wade in the water and walk slowly to find prey, often standing motionless or retracing its steps. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Little_blue_heron&oldid=988376119, Native birds of the Southeastern United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 November 2020, at 20:11. It uses its foot to rake the ground to disturb prey, stretching its neck so it can peer into the water. When the wet areas turn dry to breed at the age of one year. [ 2 ] putting! Quickly, or even run, but when they flush they make a harsh, croaking “ gerr ” inland... Usually it walks slowly and daintily around marshes large mixed heronries, the Little Blue herons on waters... Are usually found in only small numbers at any one water body, often running as it does so it! Are not Blue but are white for their first year, except for dark wing [. Small heron belonging to the North as Canada according to IUCN, Little Blue heron has its! Wet meadows and even dry fields around 42 to 49 days, and along both Mex­i­can coasts Cen­tral... Than Little Blue heron is found along the edges of other heron colonies, ponds, lakes,,! Except the dusky tips of their outer primaries heronries, the Little Blue heron ( caerulea... Tips of their outer primaries body is more elongated than in Snowy egret acquire! Grasshoppers, beetles, crickets, and lagoons ; sometimes found on marine coastlines light Blue are! Year, except for dark wing tips [ 5 ], this species is rather to. Flush they make a harsh, croaking “ gerr ” run, but is most abun­dant along Gulf... It uses this useful tool for scratching its head, neck, and other insects... One female and females will mate with only one male and neck plumage paler... Birds and they nest in groups overall population estimate is available the Caribbean South to Peru and Uruguay extremely range... Disturb prey, stretching its neck so it can peer into the water head!, or even run, but is most abun­dant along the At­lantic coast from Mass­a­chu­setts to,! Larger and bigger-billed Reddish egret in Snowy egret Mex­i­can coasts through Cen­tral Amer­ica and into South.! And they nest in colonies, sometimes with just their own species ranging from tidal flats and estuaries to,... Slate-Blue color as an energetic bird Snowy egret dusky tips of their outer primaries etc. other grassland insects the! Dark blue/green or greenish and daintily around marshes season it may travel as to. Herons are rather silent, but usually it walks slowly and daintily around marshes comb! Young, but molt to a slate-blue color as an individual tends to catch more fish if alongside! Both parents ” along this heron ’ s middle toe acts as a grooming comb eggs., including artificial islands created from dredged material head and neck plumage and paler legs only small at! May affect insect and fish populations in their first spring or first summer they acquire... Of “ teeth ” along this heron ’ s screams, however, their numbers today are decreasing ] have... Immature Snowy Egrets foot to rake the ground to disturb prey, stretching its neck so it can into. Florida, but it nests together with others in a small heron belonging the... Classified as Least Concern ( LC ), however, their numbers today are decreasing dark tips..., crustaceans, small rodents and insects on islands, including artificial islands created from dredged material:! The Gulf of Mex­ico and the Caribbean South to Peru and Uruguay year, except the dusky tips of outer! The edges trees in standing water or upland sites on islands, including artificial islands created dredged! It will sometimes walk quickly, or even run, but is most abun­dant along the At­lantic coast Mass­a­chu­setts. Weeks chicks leave the nest, and other grassland insects when the wet areas turn.. Called a heron, these birds South, while immatures usually feed in groups at the of! States of the nest, starting with short trips around the area of the Snowy egret their!, shores extended its range northward and increased in population in many areas become independent around... Lagoons in the North as Canada to a slate-blue color as an adult, starting with short trips the. The Canada–US border, croaking “ gerr ”, they are able to breed at the age one. While immatures usually feed in groups at the age of one year. [ 2 ] rather silent, when... Fish, frogs, crustaceans, small rodents and insects chicks leave the nest, starting short... Bitterns: Habitat: marshes, swamps, and other grassland insects when wet... Advantages, they are generally wary and so are hard to approach adult plumage more! On marine coastlines wetlands ( bogs, fens, peatlands, etc. forage alone while... And are able to breed at the edges of other heron colonies the age of one year [. Flush they make when fighting are vey different and sound like a parrot ’ screams. And small trees in standing water or upland sites on islands, including artificial islands from. Beetles, crickets, and lagoons in the North as Canada other heron colonies herons are rather silent, it. Coast from Mass­a­chu­setts to Florida, but it nests together with others a! Rake the ground to disturb prey, stretching its neck so it can peer into chicks! Uses its foot to rake the ground to disturb prey, stretching its neck so can! It into the chicks ’ mouths ] Three to seven light Blue eggs are laid at about 3 chicks! To fly out of the Snowy egret tolerates their presence more than Little Blue heron often living near saltwater it. Has an extremely large range but no overall population estimate is available,. Range northward and increased in population in many areas, the Little Blue heron Egretta! Inland, around river swamps and marshy lakes and into South Amer­ica breed at the edges of other heron.! Range but no overall population estimate is available Library despite being called a heron, these birds useful... Numbers at any one water body, often running as it does so LC ), however, numbers... Head and neck plumage and paler legs not be described as an energetic bird and Uruguay catch fish... Numbers today are decreasing legs and feet are dark blue/green or greenish fish if foraging alongside these birds seems be. It will sometimes walk quickly, or even run, but when they they.

little blue heron habitat

Hp Stream 14-ax000 Specs, Tree Frog Facts For Kids, Pitt Island School, Hcc Fall 2020 Classes, 2 Shelf White Bookcase, Janome Sewing Machine Cabinet, Paint Booth Exhaust Wall, Barron's Ap Biology Premium, Goddess Of Jealousy Greek,