Sunday, January 11, 2015

Green Heron

This is the male Green Heron, taken in Palo Duro Canyon on 10 May 2014. This is the first one I've photographed here in the panhandle. Its body is only about 17" in length, and its neck is often retracted. Females are slightly smaller. The Green Heron is about the size of the American Crow. The panhandle is normally North of its Winter range, and West of its breeding range, but just catches its migration range. They are normally solitary and widely dispersed throughout their range.

They hunt around the clock - usually by wading, but will dive for deeper prey and then swim back to shore using its webbed feet. They eat smaller fish like minnows and sunfish, and will even eat catfish and carp. Other entrees like insects, crustaceans and amphibians are fair game, too. It will either grab or spear its prey with its sturdy bill.

Green Heron. Click for larger image.

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