Florida / Pic of the Week / Southeastern USA

“Pic of the Week”, April 30, 2021: Green Heron, Everglades National Park

00 Green Heron, Everglades

We spotted this pretty bird while hiking on a boardwalk in the Everglades. We almost passed by because it was absolutely motionless, watching for small fish in the shallow waters. A few seconds later its head darted below the surface of the water quicker than you could follow it, and it emerged with a small minnow, which it swallowed whole.

I’d never seen a green heron this close before and did a little research later. The bird is small for an heron (less than a half meter — about a foot and a half — long). Their range is quite extensive in North and Central America. They are characterized by a greenish-black cap and a greenish back. The bill is long, dark and sharp.

Green herons live in the wetlands of low-lying areas. They mainly eat small fish and frogs, but will grab most anything that swims by. Sometimes they drop food onto the water’s surface as bait to attract fish, making them one of the few known tool-using bird species.

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