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Bird Gallery

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron (breeding plumage)
Little Blue Heron (breeding plumage)

© Joanne Kamo

Egretta caerulea

Family: (Ardeidae) Herons, Egrets and Bitterns 

Preferred Habitat: Freshwater lakes and marshes; coastal salt marshes

Seasonal Occurrence: Common in all seasons 

Notes: The adult Little Blue Heron is slate blue, with a dark purple head and neck. During the breeding season these areas become noticeably reddish-purple. Immature Little Blues resemble Snowy Egrets with white plumage, but unlike Snowies their legs are dull olive-green. An immature takes a long time to acquire adult plumage and during this period it becomes a very blotchy blue and white combination, or as some call it, a "calico heron". The Rookery at Smith Oaks is an excellent place to study breeding behavior of Little Blue Herons. Within the Houston City Limits, Arthur Storey park is a reliable location to find Little Blue Herons. 
- Susan Billetdeaux

Little Blue Heron (immature)
Little Blue Heron (immature)

© Greg Lavaty