Green Heron at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin July 9, 2014

Green Heron fishing, feeding and resting at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Photographs were taken on July 9, 2014.

Capture of the crayfish!

Capture of the crayfish.

Green Heron

Binomial name: Buborides virescens

Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies

Size: 18” long, 26” wing span

Weight: 7 Oz.

Habitat: Breed in areas of woods or areas with thick vegetation near ponds, marshes, rivers, streams, reservoirs and estuaries. They stay at coastal areas and mangrove swamps in the winter months.

Diet: Green Herons consume fish as their main diet, but also eat amphibians, insects, crustaceans, snails, reptiles and rodents. They catch their food standing still at pond, lake, swamp, creek, marsh, or river edges then darting out with their head snapping up its prey. They also spear their prey with their sharp bill. They usually hunt in waters of less than 4” deep. Deeper waters are usually visited by larger heron species with longer legs.

Nesting: Start of the construction of the nest is done by the male. After a pair is formed the female helps in the nest building. The nest is usually 8-12” across with a bowl of about 2” deep with no lining. The nest is usually located over water at ground level to 30’ or more above the water, but can also be located up to distances of a half mile away from water. They also are known to fix up old nests and during the breeding season they continue to add sticks to their nests as necessary.

Cool fact: Green Herons are known to use bait like insects to bait their prey. In some images below a Green Heron used a fly to try to attract a small fish to eat. It repeated this a couple of times as I stood there but was unsuccessful that time in getting it’s fishing trick to work that attracts fish or other prey, to then snatch up.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

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Killing the crayfish.

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Killing the crayfish.

Just before the swallow!

Just before the swallow!

Hunting and waiting.

Fishing and waiting.

The catch!

The catch!

The catch!

The catch!

Hunting

Fishing

Hunting

Fishing

Going for a fly to be used to bait a minnow.

Going for a fly to be used to bait a minnow.

Catching the fly!

Catching the fly!

Setting the fly in the water to attract a minnow.

Setting the fly in the water to attract a minnow.

Changes plan and takes the fly to a new location to be used to bait a minnow.

Changes plan and takes the fly to a new location to be used to bait a minnow.

Takes off to a new location.

Takes off to a new location.

Catches a crayfish after hunting for a while.

Catches a crayfish after fishing.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Killing the crayfish.

Swallows the crayfish without notice!

Swallows the crayfish without notice!

Going down!

Going down!

In the process!

In the process!

Hunting

Fishing

Resting

Resting

Resting

Resting

Resting

Resting

Hunting

Fishing

Hunting

Fishing

Beautiful back view of feathers and colors!

Beautiful back view of feathers and colors!

Fishing

Fishing

Resting

Resting

Fishing

Fishing

The catch!

The catch!

Killing the crayfish

Killing the crayfish

Resting after swallowing the crayfish!

Resting after swallowing the crayfish!

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

3 Responses to Green Heron at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin July 9, 2014

  1. Annie Mueller says:

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures.

  2. Nancy Nabak says:

    Speechless…I am blown away by these! What great observations and captures! Thanks for bringing me along!!!

  3. Elaine says:

    Jim – this bird is a masterpiece! The exquisite feather pattern is incredible. You introduce the bird looking very sleek. Then the wind arrives and rearranges the mauve feathers – and suddenly he is an elegant specimen in breeding plumage! Using the insect as lure was truly a remarkable capture. Again and again, you somehow manage to slip into wildlife’s secrecy and reveal hidden beauty and mystery. The early bird gets the crayfish – and the early photo artist gets both bird and crayfish. Thanks for sharing your magic, Jim!

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