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|Common name:||Great Blue Heron|
|Scientific name:||Ardea herodias|
|Other names:||Blue Crane|
|Status on Vashon:||Common|
A large wading bird common near the shores of fresh and salt water on Vashon. I can be found in most of North America and Central America as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands.It is the largest heron in North America.
The call is a harsh croak. The heron is most vocal during the breeding season, but will call occasionally at any time of the year in territorial disputes or if disturbed.
The primary food for great blue heron is small fish, though it is also known to opportunistically feed on a wide range of shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents and other small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and small birds. Herons locate their food by sight and usually swallow it whole. Typically, the great blue heron feeds in shallow waters, usually less than 20 in deep, or at the water's edge during both the night and the day, but especially around dawn and dusk.
This species usually breeds in colonies, in trees close to lakes or other wetlands. Predators of eggs and nestlings include turkey vultures, common ravens and American crows, red-tailed hawks, and raccoons. Adults can be killed by bald eagles. The primary source of disturbance and breeding failures is human activities, mostly through human recreation or habitat destruction, as well as by egg-collectors and hunters.
|More details:||Encyclopedia of Life Wikipedia|
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