A little blue heron looks for its food

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The little blue heron is similar in many ways to the better known great blue heron. Both are native birds with long legs and long necks. The little blue heron I show here is an adult of breeding age evidenced by the purple head and neck and dark legs.

The little blue heron spends most of its time near streams, other bodies of water and swamps. This odd little bird has a body about the size of an average chicken. It eats small fish, crayfish, frogs and other small animals and insects that frequent water. Looking awkward standing on its long, skinny legs, the little blue heron is more graceful in flight and fun to watch swallowing a fish.

Juvenile little blue herons are white for most of their first year and are easily confused with snowy egrets which also range into Southeast Missouri during summer.

@body_no_indent italics:Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the Painted Wren Gallery.

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