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Scientific name: Ardea herodias
Size: wingspan to 72 in.
Range: North America, with some wintering in central and South America
Habitat: Near sources of water, including rivers, marshes, lakes, swamps, and coasts
Diet: Primarily fish, though they also eat invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals
Conservation status: Stable
Great Blue Herons are the largest and most widespread heron in North America. You can find them wading in shallow water, stalking their prey before they stab it with their beak. They often nest in colonies in trees near water. We regularly observe herons during our survey work on Watts Bar Reservoir. In addition, Great Blue Herons can often be found at the Conservation Institute property.