|Green Herons at the Sanctuary|
|Written by Catherine Lorenz|
|Monday, 23 July 2012 17:50|
A colony of Green Herons has been spotted recently on the shore of Wintergreen Lake. They are usually seen in the morning, and are often found on the shore near the bridge.
When you hear the word “heron”, you probably think of a Great Blue Heron: tall, slender, elegant. So when you see a short, stocky Green Heron you might be a little surprised. Green Herons are small, compact wading birds with long bills and toes. Their bodies are only about the size of a crow, and are dark greenish grey with a brown shoulder and neck area. Their under-parts are white with brown streaks, and the feet and legs are yellow.
Green Herons feed mainly on fish and invertebrates, which are caught with a swift dart of the head and neck. When hunting, they will often stand on rocks or vegetation near or above the water. They are one of the only species of bird known to use tools to help them catch food. Small items such as leaves, worms, and feathers can be used as bait to lure fish into their range. Click here to watch a video of this amazing feat!
Unlike most herons, Green Herons do not nest in large colonies. Instead, they form pair bonds and live in groups of only about 6-8 individuals. They lay 3-5 eggs during the breeding season, and both parents share incubating and feeding duties. They feed the young by regurgitating food until the babies are old enough to fledge and begin hunting for themselves.
Next time you are at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, keep an eye out for the Green Herons!