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Bird of the Week: Green Heron

August 8, 2022

Unlike many other herons with their long necks and slender appearance, green herons are short and stocky birds. It can be identified by it’s green back and head, long legs, and rusty or tan underside. Green herons can be found in Michigan during the breeding season, but can be much harder to spot than other herons. To find them, carefully look in the vegetation near shallow water for this crow-sized bird with its hunched back and dagger-like bill. More rarely, they can also be seen swimming or diving in deeper water. Their “skeow” call is a great cue to start scanning the shoreline. While flying, they appear like tailless crows. Like other herons, they stalk fish and other small aquatic animals which they grab or spear with their bills. Unlike other herons, green herons are one of the few species of bird that will use tools; they can be seen placing bits of food or insects on the surface of the water as a lure to attract fish. Keep an eye out for these birds on the shoreline of your favorite bodies of water and at your Metroparks!

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