Great blue herons, Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach, Florida, USA
Great blue herons, Florida, USA
The great blue heron (Ardea herodias) is a large, stately heron commonly found in the wetlands of North and Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. Distinguishable from other herons by their height, great herons can reach over a metre tall and their wing span stretches almost two metres. The great blue heron makes its nest in a “basket” made from twigs, usually placed high in a tree. The herons line the interior with moss, leaves, grass and other soft materials, and tend to return to the same nesting site each year, though not the same nest. Male herons find building materials while the females assemble the nest, then both birds maintain it. The helpful male heron shown here in Florida in the United States is presenting his mate with nesting material. Great blue herons lay between two and six eggs, which start pale blue and fade to white during incubation.