Little Blue Heron

The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) is a small heron. It is a resident breeder in the Caribbean, including the Gulf states of the USA. There is post-breeding dispersal to well north of the nesting range, sometimes as far as the border with Canada.

Their breeding habitat is located in sub-tropical swamps where it nests in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. Three to seven eggs are laid in one clutch.

This species is about 60 cm long, with a 102 cm wingspan. It is a medium-large, long-legged, heron with a long pointed blue or grayish bill with a black tip.

Breeding adult birds have blue-gray plumage except for the head and neck, which are purplish and have long blue filamentous plumes. The legs and feet are dark blue.

Non-breeding adults have dark blue head and neck plumage and paler legs. Young birds are all white except for dark wing tips and have yellowish legs and they gradually acquire blue plumage as they mature.

The Little Blue Heron stalks its prey methodically in shallow water, often running as it does so. It eats fish, crustaceans and insects.