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Rookery Photos of Little Blue Heron

Updated on April 4, 2015
Virginia Allain profile image

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

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

An anhinga that was near the rookery
An anhinga that was near 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).


Mousepad available from Zazzle: Little Blue Heron Mousepad by cherylarogers

Where do you like to watch birds? What kinds do you see? Do you photograph birds too?

© 2011 Virginia Allain

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    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 4 years ago from London

      You are right that they aren't the most beautiful of babies! but they are wonderful anyway. Thank you for a really lovely glimpse into their world.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @Lady Lorelei: The little blue heron is considerably smaller than the great blue heron. Still interesting to observe.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      The Heron certainly is a majestic bird. The first time I saw one fly overhead I didn't have a clue what it was.

    • profile image

      Snakesmum 5 years ago

      Beautiful photos!

    • Terry Boroff profile image

      Terry Boroff (flipflopnana) 5 years ago from FL

      The Little Blue Heron is one of our favorite birds to watch, I just love your photos of them.

    • profile image

      RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

      Love your photos - you've included some lovely bird pictures!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Watching and photographing Blue Herons sounds like a perfect way to spend a few hours! They seem like real characters.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Thanks for letting me know about this lens. I also have a lens about Little Blue Herons, so I enjoyed looking at your photos very much. Rookeries can be a great place to take photos. Again, thanks for letting me know about the lens.

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 7 years ago from Australia

      I'm an avid bird watcher myself. Can I come over to your place sometime?

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      this is amazing Virginia - love them love them love them - Angel blessed and featured on top wild bird lens published in May. :0)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wow, way Cool Display!!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      Lovely! We have a big old grey heron that's practically a pet. Great birds, lovely lens.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 7 years ago

      Outstanding images

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      These are wonderful photos. Well done!

    • profile image

      jseven lm 7 years ago

      What great pictures of these awesome birds! Nice lens. :)

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 7 years ago


    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 7 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I have a hummingbird that flits around my place. He's little and green but it's really hard to get a photo of him. Your photos are wonderful!