Little Blue Heron Visits Bolsa Chica

Here’s a fun challenge for the Fall, see if you can spot a Little Blue Heron at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

Normally the Little Blue Heron’s main range is central and upper south America up into Mexico as far as the California border, concentrated along the coasts, and in the southeastern U.S. However, during the Winter of 2021/22 passionate bird enthusiast and BCLT contributing photographer, Carl Jackson, spotted a juvenile Little Blue Heron at Bolsa Chica! You can see his beautiful photo on the September page of our 2023 Wings Over Bolsa calendar.
As juveniles the Little Blue Heron isn’t blue at all but a brilliant white and because of that they blend in well with Snowy Egrets. Look carefully for their slate gray/blue beak with a black tip and greenish legs to tell them apart from the Snowys.
As they become adults Little Blue Herons lose their white feathers and become a blueish gray with a subtly purple-tinted neck and head and can be mistaken for the Reddish Egret. However, they retain that gray beak with a black tip, have lighter gray legs and are smaller than the Reddish Egret.
Little Blue Herons prefer freshwater wetlands, streams, ponds, flooded fields and, in the Southeastern US, are often seen with Cattle Egrets. Very quiet and shy, they hunt by standing still or moving very slowly and will eat fish, crabs and insects. Little Blue Herons gather in small numbers except when nesting.

Although it is rare to see Little Blue Herons at Bolsa Chica the current change in climate patterns means that we may expect to see them here more frequently.

Do you think that you may have seen a Little Blue Heron at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve? Please tell us about it in the comments!

Publicado el septiembre 8, 2023 09:22 TARDE por bolsasteward bolsasteward


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