Great Blue Heron

John James Audubon in America Collection

Great Blue Heron

Close up of Audubon's Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias, Linnaeus
Octavo edition, plate 369

“The principal food of the Great Blue Heron is fish of all kinds; but it also devours frogs, lizards, snakes, and birds, as well as small quadrupeds, such as shrews, meadow-mice, and young rats, all of which I have found in its stomach. . . . While on the St. John’s river in East Florida, I shot one of these birds, and on opening it on board, found in its stomach a fine perch, quite fresh. . . . The fish, when cooked, I found excellent, as did Lieutenant Piercy and my assistant Mr. Ward.”

John James Audubon, Birds of America (New York: J.J. Audubon; Philadelphia: J. B. Chevalier, 1840-1844), vol. 6, p. 126.

View bird in National Audubon Society FIeld Guide to North American Birds.

A specimen of this species, collected by Audubon, is housed within the collections of the Natural History Museum in London.