Range. - Nearly the whole of North America, except the extreme north; resident south of the middle portions of the United States and migratory north of there.
This handsome Heron is about four feet in length. Its general color is a bluish gray, relieved by a black crest, primaries and patches on the sides, and a white crown. In the south they breed in large colonies, often in company with many other species. In the northern portions of their range they breed singly or in companies of under a hundred individuals. They generally place their rude platforms of sticks well up in trees, near ponds, swamps or rivers, but in the most northerly parts of their range, where trees are scarce, they often build on the ground. Unless they are disturbed, they return to the same breeding grounds, year after year. They lay from three to five eggs of a greenish blue color. Size 2.50 x 1.50. Data. - Duck Island, Maine, May 20, 1883. Three eggs. Nest of sticks and twigs, about fifteen feet from the ground. Collector, R. B. Gray.
Great White Heron. Great Blue Heron.
This darker sub-species of the breeding is found along the Pacific coast, north to Sitka, Alaska. Its nests and eggs do not differ from the former species.
This sub-species is a resident in Florida. It is a lighter variety than the common. It nests together with the Great Blue Heron and its habits are the same.