Green Heron - Butorides virescens
The green heron has a dark head with a small black crest. Its back and wings are dark gray-green to dark gray-blue. Its neck is rust colored. It has a dark bill and its legs are orange or yellow.
The green heron breeds in most of the eastern United States from the Canadian border south to the Gulf of Mexico and west to the Great Plains. On the Pacific coast, it breeds from British Columbia south to California and Arizona. It winters in coastal California, southern Arizona and Texas, along the Gulf coast, and along the Atlantic coast north to South Carolina.
The green heron lives in freshwater or brackish water marshes with clumps of trees.
The nest is built in a tree, in a dense thicket, or occasionally, in the reeds or cattails in a marsh or in an orchard. The eggs take about three weeks to hatch and both parents incubate the eggs. The chicks are fed regurgitated food by both parents. When a parent comes to the nest, the chicks grab its bill to stimulate regurgitation. The chicks fledge in about three weeks but are hopping around the nest and snapping at insects when they are two weeks old.
The male green heron chooses a nesting site before selecting a mate. He defends his nesting territory both before and after mating and mates with only one female a season. He attracts a mate with visual displays and with his nesting site.
Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Chris Parrish