Green Heron

Butorides virescens

Order

CICONIIFORMES

Family

Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (Ardeidae)

Code 4

GRHE

Code 6

BUTVIR

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Green Heron has a large range, estimated globally at 7,900,000 square kilometers. It is native to North and Central America and many surrounding island territories, though it has been spotted in Greenland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. This bird prefers forest or wetland ecosystems. The global population of the bird has not been quantified, but the bird is described as common in many of its native regions. Because there seem to be no population declines approaching the threshold for inclusion on the IUCN Red List, the current evaluation status of the Green Heron is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Green Heron: This small heron has gray-green upperparts, chestnut brown head, neck, and upper breast, and a paler brown belly. It has a green-black cap with a small crest and a white throat. The neck has a white central stripe. The bill is two-toned with a dark upper mandible and yellow lower. It is an opportunistic feeder with fish as the primary food source. Direct flight. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Green Heron: Breeds across most of the U.S., with the exception of eastern Washington to the Dakotas south to northern Utah and Colorado; spends winters along the West Coast and in the southern U.S. south to Venezuela, Panama, and the West Indies. Preferred habitats include shoreline habitats along rivers, oceans, lakes, and ponds.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"qua qua"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Green Heron is one of the few tool-using birds. It commonly drops bait onto the surface of the water and grabs the small fish that are attracted.
  • The Green Heron is part of a complex of small herons that sometimes are considered one species. When lumped, they are called Green-backed Heron. When split, they are the Green Heron, the Striated Heron, and the Galapagos Heron.
  • They tend to wander after the breeding season is over. Most probably seek more favorable foraging areas and do not travel far. Occasionally some turn up in England and France.
  • A group of herons has many collective nouns, including a "battery", "hedge", "pose", "rookery", and "scattering" of herons."

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Green Heron

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
PlumesX
Large, conspicuous, showy feathers.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X