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Alternative name: Louisiana Heron
50â€“76 cm (19Â¾-30 in)
Breeds on the east coast of North America from New Jersey to Florida and the Gulf Coast, and on both coasts of Mexico south to Panama. In South America breeds coastally south to northern Peru on the Pacific coast and the Amazon on the Atlantic coast. Also breeds on the Greater Antilles.
Northern birds are migratory and becomes more widespread on the Gulf Coast and throughout the West Indies. Post-breeding dispersal has taken birds north to New Brunswick and Ontario and a rare but regular visitor to southern California.
There are 2 subspecies:
Mainly coastal, found in shallow lagoons and on tidal mudflats and estuaries, mangroves and commonly in freshwater swamps in Florida.
Often runs when hunting prey in water
The diet includes fish, crustaceans, reptiles and insects.
Colonial nester, often with other heron species. Platform nests are built of sticks in trees or shrubs around swamps. Normal clutch size is 3-7 eggs.
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