Great Blue Herons are mighty hunters


Written by: Clare-Anne Canfield  

Published on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 at 7:58 pm EST

Written by: Clare-Anne Canfield

Published:   


Great blue in his breeding plumage. Photo Credit: Clare-Anne Canfield

Great blue herons like to hang out anywhere there is water, which may include backyard ponds and random places like roadside ditches. They enjoy hunting in freshwater and saltwater because I'm certain they have stomachs made from steel. If you see these birds you may think it is just hunting for fish and tadpoles, but it's likely eyeballing juvenile Godzilla because based on what I've seen herons will eat anything.
Here's a short list and by no means a complete of the delicacies that Great blues enjoy:
  • baby alligators (baby alligators are at high risk of all kinds of predators)
  • snakes 
  • aquatic insects
  • frogs
  • fish the size of a puppy 
  • probably a puppy if small enough and in the wrong place at the wrong time
  • small mammals (marsh bunny babies beware)
  • other birds
  • anything in your goldfish pond that is alive
  • baby turtles
  • crayfish
  • crabs
Great blues will nest in trees or on the ground. Photo Credit: Clare-Anne Canfield

Once paired up a couple will remain monogamous until the next breeding season (perhaps not the fairy tale ending expected, but that's nature). These birds are protected by state and federal laws because there was time in our not-so-long ago history that people preferred bird feathers as an accessory for hats rather than just appreciating the feathers on the bird.
There is a white form of the Great blue heron, which I'm still struggling with identifying since it looks like the White egret (so tips are welcome here).
One of the many reasons that I love Florida. Photo Credit: Clare-Anne Canfield

He's probably about to catch a small child. Photo Credit: Clare-Anne Canfield

This is not a Great blue heron white morph. It's a White egret with the best Uber ever. Photo Credit: Clare-Anne Canfield