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The Statuesque Stalker

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

If you have my 2021 “Talk Birdie to Me” calendar, meet your June bird!

Standing nearly five feet tall with a six foot wingspan, the Great Blue Heron (GBHE) is the largest heron in North America. During the 19th century, these statuesque stalkers were hunted for their lovely feathers...for women’s hats of course. Due to a decline in species, a hunting ban was passed in the 20th century. Great Blue Herons can be found creeping around shorelines and in shallow marshes. They often stand in complete stillness, just waiting to stab their next meal. Violent, much? GBHEs take four weeks to incubate and sixty days to fly. They are equipped with binocular vision and can see in the ultra-violet spectrum, allowing them to successfully hunt at night.

In flight, great blue’s are often confused with Sandhill Cranes (SACR). Besides the many other distinctions, you can tell them apart because GBHEs curl their necks into a tight S-shape and SACRs keep their necks out straight. Great Blue Herons live an average of 15 years in the wild. A group of herons is called a “pose”. 💁🏾‍♀️🙌🏾✨ #HouseOfEvangelista

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