The are found in southern Canada, North America south through northern South America.
They live in wetlands edge in tall vegetation - lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, coastal waterways and mangroves.
They are stocky herons with short, orange legs (short for a heron). They reach about 18 inches (46 cm) tall. They have a shiny, dark green head, back and wings and are rusty-brown on the shoulders, chest and cheeks. They have a large, pointed bill that is dark on top and yellow below. They are yellow around the eye (cere).
They stand in the water and using their feet try to stir up prey on which to feed. They have also been seen dropping bits of food on the surface of the water and waiting for the fish to rise then catching them. "Baiting" is not used by many other birds.
They eat fish, frogs, insects, crayfish and other water crustaceans. They may also take small rodents, lizards and snakes.
They may be killed by birds of prey.
Females lay up to 6 light green eggs in a nest of sticks built in a tree or bush over the water by both parents. Green herons keep the same mate (monogamous). Many green herons may nest near each other.
They are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
Species: B. virescens
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Amsel, Sheri. "Heron (Green)" Exploring Nature Educational Resource ©2005-2023. December 1, 2023
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