Green Heron

(Butorides virescens)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Green Heron

NatureServe

N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common migrant and breeder

Habitat

Marshes, lakes, and streams with dense shoreline vegetation

Size

15 to 22 in length

26 wingspan

   
   
    Photo by Zac Davenport
 
Identification

 

 
Voice

 

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Food

 

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

April to September

 
Comments

Taxonomy
Bitterns, egrets, and herons (family Ardeidae) were formerly classified under the order Ciconiiformes. Based on a phylogenomic study published in 2008, the family was transferred to the order Pelecaniformes. This bird was formerly considered a subspecies of Green-backed Heron, and was named Butorides striata virescens.

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Pelecaniformes (pelicans, herons, ibises, and allies)

 

Family:

Ardeidae (bitterns, egrets, herons)

 
Subordinate Taxa

Bahamas Green Heron (Butorides virescens bahamensis)

Frazar's Green Heron (Butorides virescens frazari)

Green Heron (Butorides virescens maculata)

Green Heron (Butorides virescens virescens)

Western Green Heron (Butorides virescens anthonyi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
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Zac Davenport
       
  Green Heron    
       
Gerry Garcia
       

When I tried to get just a step closer, it flew away.

  Green Heron    
       
Norm & Peg Dibble
       

Green Heron, just a funny photo sitting next to our metal art crazy bird. Just noticed—he appears to be banded on right leg.

  Green Heron    
       
Lynn Rubey
       

An Adult Green Heron with a tadpole in its mouth perched on a log in a pond in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

  Green Heron    
       

An Adult Green Heron perched on a long in a pond in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge. Here you can see the white markings on the chest and throat.

  Green Heron    
       

A green Heron walking along a branch along the Minnesota River in Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

  Green Heron    
       
Kirk Nelson
       

Juvenile green heron

  Green Heron    
       
CJ
       
  Green Heron    
       
Wayne Rasmussen
       
  Green Heron   Green Heron
       
  Green Heron   Green Heron
       

White Egrets are occasional visitors to Maplewood Hts Park even though the Blue Heron tries to protect his territory with ferocity.

  Great Egret and Green Heron    
       

From a distance, the Green Heron is a dark, stocky bird hunched on slender yellow legs at the water’s edge, often hidden behind a tangle of leaves. Seen up close, it is a striking bird with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body, and a dark cap often raised into a short crest. These small herons crouch patiently to surprise fish with a snatch of their daggerlike bill. They sometimes lure in fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.

— From Cornell Lab - All About Birds

  Green Heron    
       
Christa Rittberg
       

Observed in White Bear Lake.

  Green Heron    
       
Elizabeth Daughton
       

An immature great blue heron searches for food.

  Green Heron    
       

A green heron sits quietly.

  Green Heron    
       

A green heron searches for fish and other food sources.

  Green Heron    
       
Shelley Taylor
       
  Green Heron    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

 

     
Slideshows
   
  Green Heron
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Green Heron  
     
  Green Heron
Ed McVicker
 
  Green Heron  
     
  Green Heron
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Green Heron  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
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Holly Potter
       
  Green Heron 01
Published on Jun 24, 2018
 
   
 
About

I believe it has a nest in the Rees nearby. I see it a couple of times daily sneaking into what looks like a nest made of dried reeds. Saw him or her catching fish a few times.

   
       
  Green Heron 02
Published on Jun 24, 2018
 
   
 
About

I believe it has a nest in the Rees nearby. I see it a couple of times daily sneaking into what looks like a nest made of dried reeds. Saw him or her catching fish a few times.

   
       
  Green Heron 03
Published on Jun 24, 2018
 
   
 
About

I believe it has a nest in the Rees nearby. I see it a couple of times daily sneaking into what looks like a nest made of dried reeds. Saw him or her catching fish a few times.

   
       
Other Videos
 
  Green Heron - stealthy hunter - California
Clive Bramham
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 3, 2011

Green Heron (Butorides virescens; Grønnrygghegre) adult foraging at Upper Newport Bay (Back Bay), Orange County, California. Bird hops from rock to muddy rock, crouching and flaring its crest. A model of patience and focus, the bird steps through shallow water without disturbing the sediment. Birds of California playlist. Birds of North America. Butorides viriscencs. MP4

   
       
  GREEN HERON CATCHING FISH_0001.wmv
TINKERPOPPYIMBA
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 5, 2012

Intelligent Heron catching fish using bread as bait

   
       
  Green Heron Calling
orangescope
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 19, 2013

An adult Green Heron gives its signature call at the Venice Rookery.

   
       
  Green Heron at the Raritan River - Best Ever in HD
my35Xvision
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 13, 2012

Green Heron at the Raritan River - Best Ever http://www.youtube.com/user/my35Xvision -- back to my channel

Filmed by my35Xvision in Duke Island Park at the Raritan River on September 13, 2012

This was short and beautiful moment in nature...

Make sure you subscribe/like/comment/share!

Please visit my channel to view more exciting videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/my35Xvision

   
       
  The clever bird catching a fish on lures. The only thing in the world a bird fisher / Green heron
NAT GEO WILD
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 26, 2014

The clever bird catching a fish on lures. The only thing in the world a bird fisher / Green heron - Nat Geo Wild

PLAYLISTS MY CHANNEL
https://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWildE/videos?view=1&flow=grid

MY CHANNEL
https://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWildE

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this bird.
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Zac Davenport
6/4/2020

Location: Savage, MN

Green Heron


Gerry Garcia
8/27/2019

Location: Hyland Lake Park Reserve

When I tried to get just a step closer, it flew away.

Green Heron


Norm & Peg Dibble
7/5/2019

Location: Maple Grove, MN

Green Heron, just a funny photo sitting next to our metal art crazy bird. Just noticed—he appears to be banded on right leg.

Green Heron


Lynn Rubey
6/19/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

An Adult Green Heron with a tadpole in its mouth perched on a log in a pond in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

Green Heron


Lynn Rubey
9/8/2018

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A green Heron walking along a branch along the Minnesota River

Green Heron


Kirk Nelson
8/11/2018

Location: Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

Green Heron


Holly Potter
6/21/2018

Location: Pine Mountain Lake, Backus, Minnesota

I believe it has a nest in the Rees nearby. I see it a couple of times daily sneaking into what looks like a nest made of dried reeds. Saw him or her catching fish a few times.


CH
6/9/2018

Location: Lake Kohlmeier, Owatonna MN

Green Heron


Jannine Mclaughlin
5/27/2018

Location: Cambridge, MN

It has a nest in my tree!


Wayne Rasmussen
5/21/2018

Location: Joy Park

Green Heron


Peter Nelson
5/10/2018

Location: Zumbro River, Pine Island, MN​

Bright red legs​


Christa Rittberg
6/9/2017

Location: Ramsey County, MN

Observed in White Bear Lake.

Green Heron


Elizabeth Daughton
9/14/2016

Location: pond at Colonial Church in Edina

An immature great blue heron searches for food.

Green Heron


Elizabeth Daughton
8/8/2016

Location: Bredsesen Park, Edina

A green heron sits quietly.

Green Heron


Wayne Rasmussen
6/27/2016

Location: Maplewood Hts

Green Heron


Shelley Taylor
6/21/2016

Location: Balm Lake, Minnesota

Spotted on Balm Lake, northwest of Bemidji, MN.

Green Heron


Wayne Rasmussen
6/8/2016

Location: Maplewood Hts Park

White Egrets are occasional visitors to Maplewood Hts Park even though the Blue Heron tries to protect his territory with ferocity.

Great Egret and Green Heron


Wayne Rasmussen
5/31/2016

Location: Maplewood Hts Park - our backyard

100% crop from Tamron 70-300mm- our resident green heron family in 2011

Green Heron


     
     
 
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