Nature Journal
with Photos

          
Great Blue Heron Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
 
General Information
- Sexes similar
- Huge long-legged long-necked wader
- Usually holds neck in an "S" curve at rest and in flight
- Long, thick, yellow bill

Adult
- White crown and face
- Black plume extending from above and behind eye to
   beyond back of head
- Brownish-buff neck with black-bordered white stripe
   down center of foreneck
- Blue-gray back, wings and belly
- Black shoulder
- Shaggy neck and back plumes in alternate plumage

Immature
- Black cap
- Brownish-gray back and upperwings
- Lacks shaggy neck and back plumes
- Lacks black plume extending from behind eye

Similar species
Tricolored Heron has white belly. Reddish Egret and Little Blue Heron are smaller, and lack white on head and yellow in bill.
 
 
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