Where can you spot them? Green herons are a coastal bird, distributed throughout the island. You can spot them most easily within mangrove forests, or hunting on the edges of isolated islands.
- The green heron is one of two nesting herons in Bermuda, with the other being the yellow crowned night heron.
- The yellow crowned night heron was introduced to control land crab populations, but the green heron colonized Bermuda naturally.
- The green heron is compact with relatively short legs, but if you observe one for any length of time, you will quickly discover their uncanny ability to extend their seemingly short necks very far from their bodies.
- Mangroves are an important habitat for green herons and other birds. They usually feed at night, and prey upon crustaceans, small fish, and frogs. Sometimes they drop insects on the surface of the water to attract fish, classifying them as a very intelligent, tool-using bird.
- The first breeding colony was discovered at Mangrove Lake, where adults and juveniles were spotted, and twiggy nests were observed. Bermudian ornithologists surveyed the herons by using a small, camouflaged kayak so as not to disturb the herons.
- As green herons build their nests very close to the water, wave action, increased by hurricanes, is a major threat to their reproductive success. Cats and rats are also known to raid nests and kill hatchlings.
- At present, green herons are just about as numerous as yellow crowned night herons as their populations have increased dramatically.
**Featured image copyright Jeremy Madeiros and Bermuda Department of Environment and Natural Resources