Ardea herodias wardi
English : Great blue heron
French : Grand héron
Class : Aves
Order : Pelecaniformes
Family : Ardeidae
Notes : 4 other subspecies known.
Large heron species reaching a length of 137 cm for a weight of 3.6 kg. Deep-based bill, small crest behind head. Black cap, white face. Neck and breast rufous with elongated feathers. Rest of plumage grey and black. White morph exists. Subspecies with pale gray plumage, pinkish-gray neck, chestnut area on forehead reduced.
Range and habitat
This species occurs from central Canada to most ot USA. Northern populations migrate to central America, south to Colombia and Venezuela. Subspecies found from south-central US to Gulf of Mexico, east to Florida. Lives in mangroves, lake shores, rivers, estuaries, marshes, to 2600 m.
IUCN RED LIST : LEAST CONCERN
CITES : Not Listed
Status : The species is globally common and remains safe so far. It occurs in many protected areas. Subspecies occidentalis is now very rare.
Ex-Situ Programs : None known
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