Green Heron

img_0074The squad of geese attracted my attention. But then the young Green Heron (Butorides virescens) stood out amidst all that gooseflesh.img_0078These juvenile herons are heavily streaked in the neck. The “green” of the name isn’t so helpful (ditto “Green-backed,” the old common name for them). They have nested in Brooklyn in recent years. I haven’t heard or seen a Green-Wood nest, but I have my suspicions. Butorides virescensCrest up, sometimes.Butorides virescensButorides virescensThey prowl slowly along the shore and strike quickly. They’ll eat whatever they can catch: fish, crustaceans, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals. Fish are a big part of their diet, but this one was just a snack. I’ve seen them snatch dragonflies out of the air. Butorides virescensI was doing pretty good at stalking myself, mostly by not moving. The bird came towards me, with the geese still behind. It was finally flushed by one of the little carts cemetery staff get around in.Butorides virescensThe iridescent green of the lores comes across well in a couple of these shots. Speaking of iridescent, that blue streak is a Familiar Bluet damselfly. Butorides virescens

10 Responses to “Green Heron”

  1. 3 selah September 26, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I didn’t realize they were so small being used to Great Blue Herons where I live…

    • 4 mthew September 26, 2016 at 11:43 am

      Oh, yes, much smaller than GBH. Amongst the wading herons, egrets, and bitterns, Green Heron is the second smallest after the elusive Least Bittern here on the east coast.

  2. 5 Pam Page Anderson September 26, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Great post! I love herons – blue herons, green herons, black-crested night herons. Here’s a blog post I wrote a few years ago which includes a couple of green heron photos you might appreciate:

    • 6 mthew September 26, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Thanks! We had a fine time yesterday at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, NY., with Snowy and Great egrets (at least 25) and single Great Blue, Little Blue, and Yellow-crowned NHs. The Little Blue was a particular delight.

  3. 7 elwnyc September 26, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Happy to see these, even if just in pictures!

  4. 8 hazel September 26, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Wow!! How neat! I’m so happy you got to see one where you are! 🙂 I have never seen a Green Heron, but I hope to one day.

  5. 9 Murray Fisher September 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Great! Watching a whole flock of blue gray gnatcatchers on GI right now!

    Murray Fisher New York Harbor Foundation


  1. 1 Butorides virescens | Backyard and Beyond Trackback on May 31, 2018 at 7:01 am

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