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Critter of the Month


Critter of the Month -

AUGUST

Little Blue Heron
Egretta caerulea

A medium-large, long-legged heron with a long pointed pale blue or gray bill with a dark tip. Breeding adults have blue-grey plumage except for head and neck which are purplish and have long blue filamentous plumes. The feet and legs are dark blue/green. The sexes are similar.

Non-breeding adults have dark blue head and neck plumage and paler legs. Young birds are all white in their first year except for dark wings tips and have dull greenish legs. In their first spring or summer they gradually acquire the dark adult plumage.

These herons prefer freshwater swamps and lagoons in the South and while in the North inhabit coastal thickets. They breed in tropical swamps adn mangrove vegetation, wetlands and marine intertidal salt marshes.

The little blue heron nests in colonies often with other heron. Their nest is usually on a platform of sticks in a tree or shrub. Three to seven light blue eggs are laid.

The little blue heron stalks it's prey methodically in shallow water, often running as it does. It eats fish, frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, spiders and crustaxeans, small rodents and insects. Adult usually feed alone while immatures feed in groups.



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