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Bird Identification

Green Heron

Butorides virescens Length: 18"

Look For

This small, dark heron has the perfect coloration to blend in with habitat along the water's edge: dark tones of reddish brown and deep green, with bright yellow-orange legs. Although its body is stocky, its bill is slender and long—perfect for spearing small fish, its preferred food.

Listen For

A loud, hoarse skowp! often given when the bird is spooked into taking flight.

Remember

Most easily confused with the night-herons and bitterns, but the green heron is much darker overall and shows all-dark wings in flight.

Find it

Quiet wooded streams, small ponds, marshes, and almost any body of fresh water that is lined with thick vegetation may host a green heron. Scan the trees and snags along the water's edge to find a green heron sitting quietly.

Wow!

Green herons may use bait (such as bread or corn that's been fed to ducks, or even a piece of vegetation) to attract curious fish to within striking distance.

This profile is an excerpt from The Young Birder's Guide by Bill Thompson, III. Purchase an autographed copy from our nature store, and check out other BWD titles designed to help you identify backyard birds.

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