Maryland Birds

Great Blue Heron


What do they look like?

Great blue herons are large birds (6-8 lbs.) with long legs. They have long necks and stand up to four feet tall. Their heads are white and their bodies are blue-gray.

Where are they found?

Great blue herons live around both fresh and salt water. They nest close to each other in colonies called rookeries. They can be found along the edges of streams, ponds, lakes, rivers and bays. They breed in the eastern portion of the state but can be found state wide other times of the year.

What do they eat?

Wading in shallow water, great blue herons hunt for fish, frogs, crayfish and snakes. Their long pointed bill also helps them catch insects, mice and other small animals.

What other kind of herons live in Maryland?

Eight other herons live in Maryland. These are the little blue heron, tricolored heron, green heron, black crowned night heron, and the yellow crowned night heron. The cattle egret, snowy egret, and great egret are white herons which live here.

I didn't know that!

Great blue herons have a seven foot wingspan and can fly 20-30 mph. Although some will spend the winter in Maryland, most will migrate to states further south.

Drawing by: W.H. Henry