Butorides virescens • Birds
Green herons are tiny and secretive birds with glossy green atop their heads, a brown top of the neck, and are streaked brown and white underneath. Their legs are orange and bills are dark. A partial web between the middle and outer toes allows them to swim. They are found close to wooded streams, marshes and ponds, and will often wisely nest around crows, using the alarm calls of these birds to be alerted to danger.
Green herons will feed on insects, fish, invertebrates and amphibians. They will catch their prey with a darting grasp of their long bill. They prefer to hunt early morning and late evening and will sometimes bait their prey by dropping a leaf onto the surface of the water and waiting, often jumping, plunging and swimming to their catch.
Green herons will make flat nests out of sticks and twigs in shrubs or small trees near ponds, marshes, lakes, mangroves and rivers. They lay 3-5 eggs per year and during mating season they can be found along the East and West coasts and the Midwest.