Add to favorites
Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Turaco
Great Black-backed Gull

About the Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird that is common near shores and open water across North and Central America. It can also be found in the West Indies and Galápagos Islands and is a rare visitor to Europe.

It is the largest North American heron. It feeds in shallow water or at the water's edge during both the day and night, but especially around dawn and dusk. Its diet consists of a wide range of shrimps, crabs, insects, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and small birds.

In Europe, Asia and Africa the Grey Heron is very similar to the Great Blue Heron, but it is slightly smaller and has grey plumage.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 29 January 2010
Scientific Name Ardea herodias
  • Ciconiiformes
  • Ardeidae
  • Ardea
  • A. herodias
Birdorable Family Egrets & Other Waders
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 January 2017)
Measurements
Units: Imperial Metric
36 to 55 inches
66 to 79 inches
64 to 77 ounces
Range North America Central America Caribbean South America United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • Garça-azul-grande (Brazilian)
  • Volavka Velká (Czech)
  • Stor Blåhejre (Danish)
  • Amerikaanse Blauwe Reiger (Dutch)
  • Amerikanharmaahaikara (Finnish)
  • Grand Héron (French)
  • Kanadareiher (German)
  • Airone Azzurro Maggiore (Italian)
  • オオアオサギ (Ooaosagi) (Japanese)
  • Herodiashegre (Norwegian)
  • Czapla Modra (Polish)
  • Цапля большая голубая (Russian)
  • Garza Azulada (Spanish)
  • Amerikansk gråhäger (Swedish)

Related articles

Baby Birdorable: Great Blue Heron

Baby Birdorable: Great Blue Heron

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Great Blue Heron. Great Blue Herons ... more
Cute Big Cranky

Cute Big Cranky

The Great Blue Heron is our 227th cute Birdorable and the answer to yesterday's Spot the Birdorable. If you live in North America you've probably seen these around near water as they ... more
City Bird: Seattle's Great Blue Heron

City Bird: Seattle's Great Blue Heron

Many countries have an official national bird. For example, the national bird of Belize is the Keel-billed Toucan, and the national bird of New Zealand is the Kiwi. All U.S. states also ... more