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Nature Journal - Majestic Great Blue Herons


watercolor by M

Great blue herons have always been special to me. Before we bought our house, we were living in an apartment with a lake view, and there was a great blue heron who was always standing by the lake. Its majestic figure, the still and quiet stance made it mysterious and somewhat poetic to me. And that was my first birding experience.


Did you know:

  • Breeding Plumage: During the breeding season, Great Blue Herons display striking black and white feathers around their necks, adding a touch of elegance to their regal appearance.


  • Sky-High Watchers: Great Blue Herons are often seen perched atop tall trees or elevated spots, providing them with a vantage point for hunting and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.


  • Dance of Courtship: During courtship, Great Blue Herons engage in mesmerizing dances, showcasing their elegance and charisma to potential mates.


  • Clever Baiters: These intelligent birds use baits like twigs and feathers to lure fish within striking range, showcasing their ingenuity in hunting.


  • Prehistoric Presence: Great Blue Herons have an ancient evolutionary history, with fossil records indicating their presence dating back millions of years.


Great blue herons are considered guardians of wetlands. They stand tall and vigilant, watching over the delicate balance of life in these ecosystems. They hunt for fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals, but also help control pests and invasive species. They are indicators of water quality and biodiversity, and their presence signals a healthy and thriving wetland. Great blue herons are not only beautiful and majestic, but also vital and beneficial for the environment.


Wildlife garden tips:


- Provide secluded areas near water bodies for herons to rest and take shelter.


- Plant native aquatic vegetation around ponds to enhance the habitat for fish and amphibians, important parts of the heron's diet.


- Install a small, shallow pool of water or a birdbath for herons to drink and bathe.




References:

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/great-blue-heron Audubon Field Guide: Great Blue Heron

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/the-great-blue-heron-great-crane-of-the-americas/ All About Birds: The Great Blue Heron - Great Crane of the Americas



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