The Green Heron is a stocky, small, solitary, somewhat secretive heron that lives around small bodies of water or densely vegetated areas. The "green" on the birds back is an iridescent color and often looks dull or dark blue. The Green Heron forages by mostly standing still or stalking very slowly at edge of shallow water or perched on emergent aquatic plants like this Cattail in the photo, waiting for prey to approach, sometimes using "bait," to lure fish within striking distance. This "bait" may be anything from a feather to a small twig dropped on the surface of the water. This feeding behavior has led to some to title the Green Heron as one of the world's most intelligent birds. The Green Heron feeds mostly on fish, but will also feed on frogs, small insects, crustaceans and tadpoles. The Green Heron may be hard to spot along the densely wooded shoreline that it prefers so patience in observation is a must and identifying the heron in flight will give you a greater opportunity to view it when it lands, typically not far as the heron stays close to it's habitat and reliable, suitable food source.


A good spotting scope is invaluable when wanting the view the Green Heron. The stillness and patience of the bird can be easily viewed with a good scope and the beauty of this small heron will be very apparent as well during an up close look. Enjoy the Green Heron which calls Sanibel and Captiva home year round.