Little Blue Heron


The Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), or garceta azul in Spanish, is a small heron with blue and purple plumage. It began showing up in San Diego County in the 1980s. Today, Little Blue Herons can be seen regularly foraging along the shores of Mission Bay, Famosa Slough, south San Diego Bay, and at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Around the coastal lagoons of northern San Diego County, they are less frequent.

Preferring coastal wetlands, marshes, and estuaries, the Little Blue Heron often nests in close association with the Snowy Egret, sharing colonies with it and other similar birds. Little Blue Herons began nesting at Sea World in Mission Bay in 1992, still the most consistent colony in all of California. They forage in shallow water for small fish and amphibians with a “stand and wait” approach to catching prey.

To learn more about the Little Blue Heron please visit the San Diego County Bird Atlas, check it our from your local library, or purchase it from the Museum store.

PHOTO CREDIT: Miguel Rangel Jr.