The Great Blue Heron is a stunning large bird with blue-gray plumage that can be found across North America. Standing at 3 to 4.4 feet with a wingspan of 6 to 6.5 feet, Great Blue Herons only weigh between 4 to 7.5 pounds due to their hollow bones.
The Great Blue Heron is one of my favorite birds and I've seen them many times over the years. Perhaps the most exciting was when my husband and I spied a rookery a couple of years ago that had about 6 or 7 nests within the colony in Southern Maine. Although we did not see any chicks, we were able to spot Great Blue Herons incubating the eggs.
The specific artwork was inspired by a birding excursion with my Mom at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge where we watched a lone Great Blue Heron standing in the marsh patiently waiting for its next meal.
A Great Blue Heron will eat almost anything within striking distance of its long beak. While fish makes up much of their diet, these birds will stalk everything from insects to small mammals.
These birds are excellent fishers and can be spotted around shorelines and in shallow marshes, either slowly wading through the water or waiting patiently for their prey. Once their next meal is spotted, they will stretch out their long neck and freeze in place, striking with their blade-like bill when the moment is right.
Fun fact: Great Blue Herons have specialized feathers on their chest that continually grow and fray. They comb this “powder down” with a fringed claw on their middle toes, using the down like a washcloth to remove fish slime and other oils from their feathers as they preen. Applying the powder to their underparts also protects their feathers against the slime and oils of swamps.
The Great Blue Heron can survive and be found in almost any wetland habitat in North America and are rarely found far from water. While some nests are built on the ground near a water’s edge, great blue herons mostly nest in colonies in trees near water. Called rookeries, the nests can be 100 or more feet off the ground and can range from 5 to 500 nests per colony. Click here to read more about this stunning bird.
Shop Great Blue Heron Products