The great blue heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. It is a rare vagrant to Europe, with records from Spain, the Azores, England, and the Netherlands. An all-white population found only in the Caribbean and southern Florida was once treated as a separate species and known as the great white heron.
The great blue heron is replaced in the Old World by the very similar grey heron (Ardea cinerea), which differs in being somewhat smaller (90-98 cm (35-39 in), with a pale gray neck and legs, lacking the browner colors that great blue heron has there. It forms a superspecies with this and also with the cocoi heron from South America, which differs in having more extensive black on the head, and a white breast and neck.
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November 12th, 2015
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