Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodius
Ardeidae

Largest native heron
Breeding plumes front and back
White form of Great Blue Heron; Great Egret has black legs
Webbing and long toes prevent sinking too deeply in mud
Small fish form bulk of diet
Fish bigger than gullet!
Two magnificent fish-eating species; eagle ready to grab heron's next catch
In flight: neck S-shaped, legs trail behind, slow wingbeat
Courtship display or aerial combat
Male provides female nest material to arrange as she wishes
Nests reused with a new mate each year
At the Jacksonville Airport, Florida
Male of nesting pair is taller than female
Copulation less than 15 seconds
Adults with 4 nestlings; clutch usually 2 to 4 eggs
Immature on a fishing expedition

Species account to come.