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Great Blue Heron

The Great Blue Heron

Florida's Tall Wading Loner Bird

Friday July 20, 2018

Almost everyday on the water I see many waterfowl and wildlife, but the Great Blue Heron is one of the most consistant inhabitants of the areas I frequent as I take out anglers on the water.

At the end of the day, I often empty my baitwells and there's always one of these magnificent birds eagerly waiting for a handout. Until recently, I have'nt been too concerned about feeding or allowing the birds to empty my leftovers by leaving the lids open on the livewells, but over the years we've noticed many birds becoming dependent on handouts and I've become more deligent about not offering handouts.

There's one location in particular in the Banana River Lagoon where during the winter month's I have an insistant Blue Heron that will not allow us to fish by stealing our baits on the end of our lines. My anglers have talked about using non-lethal weapons so discourage the birds, but to this day I've resisted the urge and in the end, this Heron (photographed above) either leaves us alone of forces us to fish elsewhere.

I've stolen some facts about the Great Blue Heron off of several websites and have placed them on this page for your information. If you have any unusual facts or stories, please forward them to us and I'll try to add them to this webpage or the Lagooner Site.

The largest and most widespread heron in North America, the Great Blue Heron can be found along the ocean shore or the edge of a small inland pond. An all white form is found from southern Florida into the Caribbean, and used to be considered a separate species, the "Great White Heron."

1). Cornell lab of Ornithology "Great Blue Heron" All About Birds and the Great Blue Heron

Cool Facts About the Great Blue Heron

The white form of the Great Blue Heron, known as the "great white heron," is found nearly exclusively in shallow marine waters along the coast of very southern Florida, the Yucatan Peninsula, and in the Caribbean. Where the dark and white forms overlap in Florida, intermediate birds known as "Wurdemann's herons" can be found. They have the bodies of a Great Blue Heron, but the white head and neck of the great white heron.

Although the Great Blue Heron eats primarily fish, it is adaptable and willing to eat other animals as well. Several studies have found that voles (mice) were a very important part of the diet, making up nearly half of what was fed to nestlings in Idaho. Occasionally a heron will choke to death trying to eat a fish that is too large to swallow.

Great Blue Herons congregate at fish hatcheries, creating potential problems for the fish farmers. A study found that herons ate mostly diseased fish that would have died shortly anyway. Sick fish spent more time near the surface of the water where they were more vulnerable to the herons.

The Great Blue Heron is the largest of the Herons in North America and is often seen wading along our shallow water lagoons, striding along the beach with tourist or waiting for handouts at a cleaning table.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

Author Captain Richard Bradley

Captain Richard Bradley is the author and contributor for many of the articles written on the Lagooner website. Richard is a professional fishing guide, taking anglers in his native waters near the Banana and Mosquito Lagoons on Florida's central east coast almost three hundred trips seasonally. When not charter fishing, Captain Richard enjoys time with his family surfing, fishing, camping and various other outdoor activities.

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