"To Catch A Fish..."

Green Heron aka "Green-backed Heron"

Green Heron        The Green Heron is common in wet spots across much of North America, but not so common in Utah. However, southern Utah produces many birds not found in the rest of Utah. This is one of them. It was this Heron that really sparked my interest in "birding". I remember seeing my first "Green-backed Heron", as it was called then, at Paulís Pond (Springs Park) and then found that people would come from all over just to see what I saw. I have also seen the Green Heron by the South Gate Golf Course Pond.

        The Green Heron is difficult to see because he stands motionless, waiting for small fish to appear for dinner. This Heron is one of the few tool-using birds. It drops bait onto the surface of the water, and when fish are attracted to the bait.....wham..... it grabs the fish with its long bill....and thereís dinner! The Heron uses a variety of baits and lures like insects, earthworms, twigs, or feathers... to catch a fish.

        The Green Heron is a small, stocky wading bird, with long yellowish legs, a long dark pointed bill, and a long neck that is often kept pulled in tight to the body. 

According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the "Green Heron is part of a complex of small herons that sometimes are considered one species. When lumped, they are called Green-backed Heron. When split, they are the Green Heron, the widespread Striated Heron, and the Galapagos Heron." To many long-time birders the Green Heron will always be the more familiar "Green-backed Heron."

        This is a great place to live and enjoy so many birds outdoors. We may not have quantity, but we have quality birds. Brenda Rusnell has drawn the Green Heron for your close-up look. It may be the only one you get......unless you come along on one of our Red Cliffs Audubon Field Trips. With expert birders to hunt them out, you will have a great time. For more information about birds or field trips, call Marilyn Davis at 673-0996. Thank you Brenda for letting us see what we could be missing.

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