Green Heron


The Green Heron (Butorides virescens) is a small heron with a shiny blackish crown, dark greenish wings, and a brown or chestnut front side. Its sharp and pointed bill allows it to hunt small fish, frogs, and small aquatic arthropods usually in ponds and marshes surrounded by shady trees.

Unlike other herons, the Green Heron does not nest in colonies with other herons and is usually a solitary forager. The nest is hidden in willow trees or cattails. The Green Heron is not common but may be seen anywhere near brackish or fresh water.

Did You Know? Sometimes a Green Heron will drop a small object or insect into the water to attract fish to the surface for easy picking. This behavior makes it a rare tool-using species.

Learn more about the Green Heron by purchasing the San Diego County Bird Atlas at the Museum store or by checking it out at your local library.