Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Ardea herodias
Great Blue Heron


Distinguishing Features - Upper parts, greyish-blue; head, white with a wide black stripe on either side, extending from the eye to a long slender crest; neck, grayish-brown edged with black down sides. Under parts randomly streaked and coloured black and white. Bill yellowish, long, tapering to a sharp point. Legs, browny-green, long. Male and female are essentially indistinguishable.

Great Blue Heron Size - 108 - 132 cm (43.25 - 53 in).


In and around fish-bearing waterways.


In deciduous, coniferous or mixed woods, usually in small colonies. Flattish nest is made of twigs and small branches in the upper parts of tall trees. Eggs, 3 - 5; light greenish-blue. Incubation period 26 - 27 days.


The Great Blue Heron's long, stilt-like legs allow it to wade in shallow waters to feed on a diet of fish, frogs and water snakes. It will also eat salamanders, large insects, mice and other small rodents. The song of the Great Blue Heron is a goose-like Onk.

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