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General Information

Great Blue Herons are large wading birds with a blueish plummage. They can be found throughout North America during the summer months. In the fall, most begin their migration south to Central America, although a few decide to winter in southern Alaska (Seward or Juneau).

  Common Name:
  Scientific Name:
  Great Blue Heron
  Ardea herodias
  Aves (Birds)
  Breeding Grounds:
  Winter Grounds:
  North & Central America
  Alaska, Canada, Northern US
  Central America
  Approx. 50 inches
  70 to 80 inches
  6 to 7 pounds

With their long slender legs, they wade the marshes in search of small fish, frogs or crustaceans. While hunting, the Herons walk very slowly in the shallow waters, but as soon as a prey has been located, they suddenly lurch their long neck forward in a fast and precise strike.

A Heron's diet also includes insects, small rodents and even snakes.

Dance of the Great Blue Heron

This Blue Heron was putting quite a show, jumping and dancing back and forth on this sand bar for our entertainment.

Heron on a Tree Stump

A juvenile Great Blue Heron was spotted in the Anchorage area in late fall. This is actually the first time we saw one in this part of Alaska.

Although young Herons have a duller plummage, we can already see the blueish feathers on the majestic wings.

Heron on a Tree Stump

The Blue Heron seemed to have chosen this tree stump as a safe harbor. It decided to stay there for several days. The Blue Heron was hunting for fish in the shallow waters in the surrounding marsh, but always coming back to this stump before sunset.

Exploring the Camp Site

Throughout the day, the Great Blue Heron was hopping back and forth along the tree trunk.

But then, once in a while, it would dare to venture on a hunting trip.

Ready to Go Hunting

Perched atop its tree stump, it finally decides to go for a hunt.

Reflections in the Marsh

Great Blue Heron in a prey stalking mode in the shallow waters of the marsh. It is patiently standing still, then wading very slowly not to spook the fish. The surface of the water is as smooth as a mirror ...

Catching a Fish!

This young Heron finally got a fish!

Stretching the Wings

A huge wingspan on a slender body.

Long Neck

Stretching the Wings Again

Great Blue Heron Taking Off

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Gliding through the air with its huge wings, as if in slow motion.

Blue Heron at Sunset

The sunset is casting an orange light on the marsh, creating a beautiful backdrop for our Blue Heron taking off.

Behind the Grass

Another hunting session wading in the marsh and looking for a another fish.

Great Blue Heron Wingspan


Getting Some Exercize

Blue Heron flapping its wings.

Blue Heron


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