Herons (Ardeidae)

Great Blue Heron

Ardea herodias

The great blue heron is silent most of the time and rarely draws attention to itself by vocalizing. It will squawk when startled into flight and sometimes calls when flying into a marsh. The adult birds also are usually quiet when sitting at a nest in a rookery, but produce remarkable squawks and growls when greeting each other (ducks and other birds in the background). These recordings were made at a heron rookery while the birds were incubating eggs. The squawks were produced when the bird on the nest appeared to ignore the arrival of its mate. The growls were produced during a greeting display after the arrival of one of the pair. Unfortunately, there is a siren in the background of the first set of growls and a jet aircraft in the second set. (Washington County, New York.)
Habitat: Marshes, ponds. Rookeries are usually located in ponds with isolated dead trees.