March 24, 2017

Heron

Great Blue Heron (Ardea horodias) can be seen in marshes, lakes, rivers, and coastal areas of Maine. They normally head south in the late fall and return in early spring, often nesting in colonies. Nests are built in high treetops, usually near water bodies or marsh areas.

They are extremely adept at fishing–if you watch carefully, you’ll see them standing motionless in shallow water, waiting for an unsuspecting fish to come along. Suddenly they thrust their long bill into the water and grab the prey, quickly swalling it whole. Parents return to the nest to share regurgitated meals with their young.

Great Blue Herons are among the largest nesting birds in Maine, standing as high as 2-3 feet. Although not endangered, prime nesting habitat is fast disappearing as wetlands are filled and developed.