Little Blue Heron

Hey guys welcome back. Today’s bird is the little blue heron. Despite its name, it does not look like a miniature great blue heron. Actually, it’s a much bluer heron than its great cousin. The little blue heron is a deep grayish blue with a purplish head and neck. They have a pale blue bill with a black tip, and pale legs. I point out the color of the bill and legs for a reason. Juvenile little blue herons are actually entirely white. This can be a bit confusing as they are about the same size as the all white snowy egret, and share much of their range with them. But even in this all white plumage, the bill and leg coloration remains the same.

Little blue heron. Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

The first one I saw was at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, NY. But it wasn’t until I moved to St. Louis that I was able to get a close look at one. They were fairly common in Forest Park, and weren’t too shy. I was able to get some really close looks, and even got to see one of those aforementioned white juveniles.

Juvenile little blue heron in white plumage. Forest Park, St. Louis, MO

Just like our last bird, the glossy ibis, the little blue heron seldom makes its way to Ohio, but we had one last spring, and like the glossy ibis, I missed it! The little blue heron sticks primarily to the southeast of the US, esxtending further up along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and extending inland along the Mississippi River Valley. Like most herons, they stalk their prey which is mostly made up of fish and the occasional crustacean or isopod. Join us next time for the greater yellowlegs. See you then!

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