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Green Heron

Green Heron

Scientific Classification
Species: virescens
Binomial name
Butorides virescens

The Green Heron or Green-backed Heron, Butorides virescens is a small heron.

Adults have a blue back and wings,a chestnut neck with a white line down the front, a black cap and short yellow legs.

Their breeding habitat is small wetlands in eastern North America, Central America, the West Indies and the Pacific coast of Canada and the United States. They nest in a platform of sticks often in shrubs or trees, sometimes on the ground, often near water.

They are migratory and winter in the southern United States through to northern South America. It is an extremely rare vagrant to western Europe.

These birds stand still at the water's edge and wait to ambush prey. They mainly eat small fish, frogs and aquatic insects.


The Striated Heron or Mangrove Heron, Butorides striatus, of tropical Africa and Asia, is frequently considered to be conspecific with the American species.