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Rookery Photos of Little Blue Heron

Updated on September 6, 2019
Virginia Allain profile image

Birds and wildlife fascinate me. I enjoy observing them and photographing them wherever I go. I share what I learn with my readers.

The Little Blue Heron's Chicks Are White


Observing a Nesting Colony of Blue Herons in Central Florida

I'm privileged to live near a rookery of Little Blue Herons. The "little" is part of their name, not just their description. Most people think of the Great Blue Heron and don't give much attention to the Little Blue Heron.

Here are my photos of the activity in the rookery. While taking these photos, I startled an alligator on the bank and he plunged into the small lake. He scared me too, as I hadn't noticed him until he made a big splash. I was a lot closer to him that I liked.

This first photos shows a young Little Blue Heron. It's a face that only a mother could love. Photo by Virginia Allain.

Birds around the Rookery


Young Heron

At this age, the Little Blue Heron is white

I pass by a small lake several times a week and noticed the blue herons landing in the trees and bushes with much flapping of wings. Curious about all the activity, I took my camera there a few days ago to get some pictures. I'd noticed white birds in the trees also and assumed they were egrets. I was surprised when I zoomed in on the birds to realize that the white birds were young, unfledged herons. All the flying in and out was from the adult herons bringing food to the young. Fascinating!

In the small pond adjacent to the rookery, I saw a variety of birds (anhingas and a pair of coots) The anhinga photo is one I took.

Virginia Allain's Photos of the Little Blue Heron Rookery - Not for Reuse Anywhere Without Permission


Things I've Observed about Little Blue Herons

  • They are called "blue" but to my eye, it is more of a slate blue. The neck can have a bit of a purple or wine colored tinge to it.
  • Little is a good descriptive for these as they are more the size of the snowy egret or a cattle egret. The great blue heron is many times larger that the little blue.
  • The beak is gray with a black tip to it.
  • The young herons are almost as big as the parent but all white. They are scrawny looking since they aren't fully fledged and often the pin feathers on their head stick up in awkward ways. They have a rather manic look as they flap around in the rookery vying for the food the parent brings.

What Do They Eat?

Since they live near lakes and swamps, they catch frogs and fish to eat. The little blue heron will also eat small rodents, insects and crustaceans.

A Frog Makes a Tasty Meal for a Heron

Frog in the shallow water of the lake.
Frog in the shallow water of the lake. | Source

Read All about the Little Blue Heron

Learn what they eat, their range, nest building and other interesting facts.

The Eggs

They build a nest of sticks in trees or bushes with many birds nesting in a colony. They lay between three and seven eggs. The color of the eggs is a light blue.

Waterbirds and Florida Bird Guides - Available from Amazon

Choose a waterbird guide to keep on hand. I never would have recognized the chicks of the little blue heron if I hadn't had a copy of Florida's Fabulous Waterbirds. At first glance, I thought they were egrets until I consulted the book.

Are You a Bird Watcher?

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Like to See Herons in Action? - Video from YouTube

The second video shows a rookery very much like the one in Poinciana where I took my photos.

2013 Update on the Rookery

I was disappointed to see few young birds at the rookery location this spring. Sure was hoping to get more photos of them.

There's a smaller colony across the water by the number seven tee box on the Cypress Golf Course (in Solivita which is in Poinciana, Florida).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Virginia Allain


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