Height: 60 cm, Wingspan 1.5 m. Both sexes are similar. Adult Great Blue Heron are tall, long-legged wading birds with a sinuous neck held in an “S” curve at rest and in flight. The long thick bill is yellow and black, the head and face are white. In mature birds, plumage is a steel blue-grey with dark blue-grey flight and tail feathers. As birds mature a distinctive black plume extends from above the eye to beyond the back of head and a bib of long trailing plumes on the chest and scapula area become more pronounced. Juveniles are grey-brown on the back and upper wing plumage and lack the black eyebrow and adult head and bib plumes.
BC Conservation Data Centre: Conservation Status Report Ardea herodias fannini, Great Blue Heron, Fannini Subspecies. [internet] Updated January 2009. - Butler, Robert W. and Philip D. Baudin. 2000. [Internet]. Status and Conservation Stewardship of the Pacific Great Blue Heron in Canada. Proceedings of a Conference on the Biology and Management of Species and Habitats at Risk. Volume One. B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, Victoria, B.C. and University College of the Cariboo, Kamloops, B.C. 490pp. - COSEWIC. 2008. [internet] COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Great Blue Heron fannini subspecies Ardea herodias fannini in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 39 pp. - Chatwind T., S. Bonar and K. Kissinger. 2007. [Internet] Pacific Great Blue Heron Population Inventory and Monitoring Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands 2005. Prepared for the BC Ministry of Environment. - McClaren Erica L. 2003. [Internet] Pacific Great Blue Heron Population Inventory and Monitoring Project: Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. Prepared for the BC Ministry of Environment. - Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks Resources Inventory Branch. 1998. [Internet]. RISC standards # 8 (Version 2.0) Colonial-Nesting Freshwater Birds. - Ministry of Environment. 2014. [Internet] Develop with Care, Great Blue Herons Fact Sheet #11. Environmental Guidelines for Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia. 2 pp. - Proulx, Gilbert et al. 2003. A Field Guide to Species at Risk in the Coast Forest Region of British Columbia. Published by International Forest Products and BC Ministry of Environment. Victoria (BC). - Summers,Ken. 2004. [Internet] Accounts and Measures for Managing Identified Wildlife Great Blue Heron Herodias ardea Accounts V. 2004.Vennesland, R. and Norman, D., 2006. [Internet]. Survey Protocol for Measurement of Nesting Productivity at Pacific Great Blue Heron Nesting Colonies.
Species Profile prepared by: Pamela Zevit, RPBio, South Coast Conservation Program, and K. Welstead, FLNRO in partnership with: International Forest Products (Interfor), Capacity Forestry (CapFor). Funding for this factsheet was through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI): http://www.sfiprogram.org/ Updated and revised by: Isabelle Houde, RPBio in consultation with the SCCP. Part of the National Conservation Plan, this project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada. Dans le cadre du Plan de Conservation National, ce projet a été réalisé avec l’appui financier du Gouvernement du Canada. Every effort has been made to ensure content accuracy. When managing for this species and for the most current information please also contact the Heron working Group or the regional species at risk biologist. Comments or corrections should be directed to the South Coast Conservation Program: firstname.lastname@example.org. Content updated March 2015. Image Credits: Adult and immature Great Blue Heron: Winnu Flickr, Sandhill Crane: Tom Freidel Flickr, Habitat: Margaret Cuthbert. Only images sourced from “creative commons” sources (e.g. Wikipedia, Flickr, U.S. Government) can be used without permission and for non-commercial purposes only. All other images have been contributed for use by the SCCP and its partners/funders only.