This morning, we had another heron encounter as two Green Herons dropped into the salt panne for a breakfast forage. The Green Heron is the second-smallest North American heron (only the tiny Least Bittern is smaller), and is found throughout much of North and Central America.
The Green Heron is part of a group of birds known collectively as Green-backed Herons, which includes North America’s Green Heron, the Striated Heron (the most far-ranging of the group, found throughout South America, Africa, and Asia), and the Galapagos, or Lava, Heron, found (as it’s name suggests) on the Galapagos Islands.
Green Herons are one of only a few species of tool-using birds (a trait shared among the Green-backed complex). They create lures with insects, feathers, and even bread crusts, which they use to draw in small fish (their favorite food). Once a fish is in range, they lunge forward, grabbing or spearing it with their bills and snaffling it up.
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