Green Heron

About the Green Heron

Also known as: Little Green Heron, Green-backed Heron, Poke, Chucklehead, Chalkline, Fly-up-the-creek

The Green Heron is a small species of heron found across parts of the Americas. In the United States, the range covers the eastern half of the country as well as the Pacific coast. They remain year-round in the southern parts of the range, while other birds migrate between northern breeding grounds and southern wintering grounds.

Green Herons feed mainly on fish, as well as aquatic invertebrates like worms and leeches, plus snails, snakes, and frogs. They often hunt by standing still on a perch above deep water or by standing in shallow water. There they watch the water for potential prey items.

The Green Heron is known to use bait to attract fish. They have been recorded dropping bits of bread, insects, and leaves into the water in an attempt to lure in fish. They are among just a few bird species known to use tools.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 22 June 2015
Scientific Name
Butorides virescens
  • Pelecaniformes
  • Ardeidae
  • Butorides
  • B. virescens
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 20 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
16.1 to 18.1 inches
25.2 to 26.8 inches
8.5 ounces


International Names

Chinese (汉语) 美洲绿鹭
Czech (Cesky) volovka zelenavá
Danish (Dansk) Krabbehejre
Dutch (Nederlands) Groene Reiger
Finnish (Suomi) amerikankyyryhaikara
French (Français) Héron vert
German (Deutsch) Grünreiher
Italian (Italiano) Airone verde
Japanese (日本語) アメリカササゴイ [amerikasasagoi]
Norwegian (Norsk) Grønnrygghegre
Polish (Polski) czapla zielona
Portuguese (Português) Socó-mirím
Russian (русский язык) Американская зелёная кваква
Spanish (Español) Garcita verdosau
Swedish (Svenska) grönryggig häger
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