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GREAT BLUE HERON / GREY HERON


by Adrian Binns 02/06

 

 

GREAT BLUE HERON
Ardea herodias

Great Blue Heron at Delaware Valley Birding Resources

GREY HERON
Ardea cinerea

 

 

© A & J Binns

© A & J Binns
 

Size and Structure

46 considerable larger than Grey. Up to 20% larger with a longer neck, more massive bill and larger head

36-40

 

 

Thighs

Rufous

White

 

Crown Stripe

Adults have a narrower black lateral crown-stripe

Broad black lateral crown-stripe

 

Neck

Side to neck vinous or suffused with pinkish- lilac

Side of neck suffused white-grey. The head and cheek on Grey Heron is very white

 

Marginal Coverts

Leading edge of the wing epaulette - Rufous and black

White and black

 

Carpal Coverts

Mottled rufous and white carpal coverts and primary covert bases

White, forming conspicuous leading lights in flight

 

Juveniles

Usually brownier on upper parts and buffier below than Grey Heron, but always show some rufous thighs and shoulders. Tend to have strongly mottled with whitish-buff sides to the neck

Plainer neck sides, with the front of the neck and upper breast more boldly streaked with dark gray to blackish