Spotlight On Ohio Birds

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

Family: Ardeidae

Order: Pelecaniformes

Description: 16-22″ (41-56 cm) ADULT Has dark green crown, rufous-maroon face and neck, and white running from throat down center of neck and breast to whitish belly. Upperparts are otherwise greenish gray; wing feathers have pale margins. JUVENILE Mainly brown, tinged rufous on face and with rufous streaks on otherwise paler throat, neck, and breast.

Voice: Utters a sharp skeeow call in flight.

Habitat: Locally common wetland bird. Summer migrant to north and interior parts of range, present mainly May-Sep; moves south and to coastal districts outside breeding season and winter range extends to Central America.

Nesting: Nest a basket of sticks, placed in small tree or shrub, usually over water. Nests in small, loose colonies. Clutch size is 2-6 pale green eggs.


FYI’S: The Green Heron is one of the few tool-using birds. It commonly drops bait onto the surface of the water and grabs the small fish that are attracted. It uses a variety of baits and lures, including crusts of bread, insects, earthworms, twigs, or feathers.

The Green Heron is part of a complex of small herons that sometimes are considered one species. When lumped, they are called Green-backed Heron. When split, they are the Green Heron, the widespread Striated Heron, and the Galapagos Heron.

As is typical for many herons, the Green Heron tends to wander after the breeding season is over. Most wanderers probably seek more favorable foraging areas and do not travel far, but occasionally some travel greater distances, with individuals turning up as far as England and France.


2 responses to “Spotlight On Ohio Birds

  1. Pingback: Going… going… but not yet gone « ConversationalWordsmith

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog. Its interesting for me to see a whole diffferent avifauna that you have in the US!

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