The Great Blue Heron is known to be the largest heron in all of the Galapagos islands. It stands proudly at almost 3 ft (1m) tall with an incredible wingspan of over 6ft (2m)! Other heron species you can spot in Galapagos include the Lava Heron and Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
The Great Blue Heron is easy to spot with its striking slate-blue feathers which stretch out across the full wingspan. The blue of these flight feathers compliments their grey necks and bright yellow bills - they are one of the most beautiful birds to be found in the skies above the Galapagos.
The herons feed on small fish, crabs, lizards, young iguanas and even young birds. Being large wading birds, the herons find much of their food in deep waters. They hunt using their excellent eyesight, and they swallow their prey whole. This sometimes has the unfortunate result of them choking on their meal, and having to regurgitate the stuck dinner.
Great Blue Herons are known to be solitary, and in Galapagos they nest alone all year round. They are commonly spotted during panga ride excursions to the mangroves as these areas and other intertidal zones like tidal pools and protected shores. These herons do not like to be away from water which is why their choice of habitat is either in mangroves, lake edges or on shorelines.
The sight of one of these magnificent birds feeding or in flight is a moment you will want to capture in memory and on camera. They are indeed one species to look out for when enjoying a wonderful naturalist Galapagos cruise.
Fast Facts about the Great Blue Heron
- Largest of the Galapagos resident herons
- They swallow their prey whole - sometimes they underestimate the size and it gets stuck
- One of the most beautifully-colored birds in Galapagos
- They are solitary birds that breed all year round in Galapagos