Great Blue Heron

Ardea Herodias

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 When visiting Tidmarsh, you are likely to see one or more Great Blue Heron.  These stately birds are highly adaptable, foraging in calm fresh water or slow moving rivers and shallow coastal bays from the mangrove swamps of Florida to the coastline of southern Alaska.  Their typical behavior is to stand stand motionless at the edge of a stream channel, or wade with slow deliberate steps in shallow water, waiting for fish to swim near. While they move slowly, Great Blue Herons strike with amazing speed to grab a fish or snap up a gopher.  Herons, with their sharp eyesight and amazing hearing, are sensitive to any kind of unusual disturbance in their surround, including human footsteps. Therefore, visitors to the sanctuary often hear the sound of the wings beating as a heron suddenly rises up above the wetland surface, and glides and settles into a new location.