Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Species: herodias


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Anthem, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
, British Columbia
Amesti, California
Canoga Park, California
Danville, California
Fort Bragg, California
Los Gatos, California
Martinez, California
Mission Viejo, California
San Diego, California (3 reports)
Apopka, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Clermont, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Naples, Florida
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Okeechobee, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Rutledge, Georgia
Stockbridge, Georgia
Algonquin, Illinois
Anna, Illinois
Batavia, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Edwardsville, Illinois
Geneva, Illinois
Hinsdale, Illinois
Oak Brook, Illinois
Schaumburg, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Yale, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Cadiz, Kentucky
Crestwood, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Covington, Louisiana
Pownal, Maine
Bishopville, Maryland
Clinton, Maryland
Darlington, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Constantine, Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Paw Paw, Michigan
Pigeon, Michigan
Sanford, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Crosslake, Minnesota
Hamel, Minnesota
Saint Michael, Minnesota
Marietta, Mississippi
Conway, Missouri
Warner, New Hampshire
Hainesport, New Jersey
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Croton On Hudson, New York
Himrod, New York
Panama, New York
Syracuse, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Mooresville, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Glenmont, Ohio
Millersburg, Ohio
Oak Harbor, Ohio
Bend, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Nehalem, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
North Wales, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Wellford, South Carolina
Centerville, South Dakota
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Keller, Texas
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Gate City, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Edison, Washington
Kennewick, Washington
Stanwood, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Appleton, Wisconsin
Hartford, Wisconsin
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Aug 1, 2018, PriscillaKing from Gate City, VA wrote:

Thanks to efforts to preserve this species on the Chesapeake Bay, we now have resident families all the way to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The birds are well liked but, if people want to keep fish outdoors, they need to provide water more than five feet deep, more than ten feet wide; otherwise herons will pick off the fish, one by one.

They like a lot of space when they're fishing, but flock together in trees or on sandbars at night. Birds this size are naturally messy; the nitrogen burn can kill a tree in a few years if a large heron family roost in it. Has anyone been able to preserve a "heronry" by regularly cleaning up the guano around the tree?


On Jul 23, 2018, egcgardener from Edwardsville, IL wrote:

We have one who has visited our lake frequently for the past 4 summers. He very, very slowly walks in the shallow water at the edge of the lake and once in a while we see him grab a small fish. It's one of the small joys of living in the country.


On Jul 23, 2018, papa1 from Dearborn, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

We often see these birds in a lagoon area near our home. We often take walks there. I was flabbergasted the first time I saw one of these huge birds fly up and roost way up in a tree! Another thing that amazes me is that their average weight is a mere 5.5 pounds.


On May 12, 2018, BonnieGardens from Clermont, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We raise koi and these birds love to eat them.
They are plentiful around Clermont, Fl.


On Feb 17, 2016, AFinSD from San Diego, CA wrote:

My spouse and I have seen this bird a couple of times at Balboa Park in San Diego, and once at the Irvine Ranch Water District in Orange County, CA.

When sighted at Balboa Park, the bird was always at the pond outside the Botanical Building. I am proud to say that we got some great pictures of this bird.

If you want to try to get a picture yourself, make sure you approach slowly and quietly.


On Jan 29, 2015, Adrastia217 from Davie, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

i posted an image of a "great white heron" is a subspecies white morph of the great blue is very different from a great egret to which it gets confused's primarily found in south florida


On Mar 10, 2013, HeidiKHandmade from Vancouver, WA wrote:

Largest bird I've seen! Prefers the marshy areas at the intersections of Andresen and State Route 500. My father was nearly landed on, by one of these herons, while making repairs to a pump in Sauvie Island, scolded and cursed at him 'til he finished and left.


On Sep 2, 2012, absinthe27 from Albertville, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

These birds come to the pond at my parents house during the summer to eat the giant goldfish. My mom runs out of the house to scare them away because they can take down the fish population quite a bit in one afternoon (her opinion of them would definitely be negative), but I think they are very interesting to watch.


On Aug 30, 2011, zoodemoore from Stockbridge, GA wrote:

This beautiful bird is a frequent visitor to the pond in our backyard. His stays range from 1 hour to literally all day if none of the neighbors come to do any fishing. The pond is surrounded by tall pines and oaks and so when he leaves the pond he will fly slow circles around it to gain altitude until he finally can clear the trees.


On Feb 7, 2011, joycemarie1212 from Plano, TX wrote:

A thrilling sight whether in flight or in stalk of a meal.
Plano, Texas


On Feb 5, 2011, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Beautiful lanky bird. We get one or two every year fishing in our pond.


On Dec 24, 2010, audsrz from Traverse City, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Very fun bird. It likes to "hide" in the cattails growing wild in the ditches. We frequently see this bird standing with it's head strait up. Still as a rock waiting for fish, it does eat goldfish, koi.


On Apr 28, 2009, antsinmypants from Ingleside, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

There are 3 watering holes on my route to work where these birds nest. Nearly every day I can count on seeing at least one. I have seen up to 3 at a time there. Makes my day a little brighter when I see them.