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Green Heron

From Bloomingpedia

The Green Heron is a species of bird. It is classified in the family Ardeidae, and its scientific name is Butorides virescens.


Green Herons are chunky, short wading birds. Compared to a domestic chicken, they are smaller by a noticeable amount and very upright in posture. Adults' necks and upper breast are a rich dark chestnut color, which is brighter and more noticeable than their dull olive-green back, and contrasts with their dark cap. Immatures' plumage overall is more heavily striped with duller brown. The beak is sharply pointed, and is blackish in adults but dark yellow in immatures. The legs become brighter yellow with age, and males in the breeding season (summer) may even have bright reddish-orange legs.


Green Herons often lurk near small bodies of water - ponds, creeks, and waterlogged marshes. They more often perch in low branches than their larger relatives such as the Great Blue Heron, and some individuals may even frequent boat docks or stand on powerlines. When alarmed, they often give a loud, distinctive squawk. In drier areas, it is more commonly seen flying overhead with deep, crowlike wingbeats - it can be distinguished from the American Crow in flight by its long, sharp beak as well as its thicker-appearing neck (folded in an S shape as it flies).

They are strictly breeding residents of Indiana wetlands, but may be seen as late as the end of October.

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