Green Heron

One July afternoon as the monsoon thunderstorms loomed, I spotted this Green Heron (Butorides virescens) hunting small fish in the shallows of the large, spring-fed pond in Agua Caliente Park here in Tucson.

Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

Green Herons have a greenish black cap and are bluish to greenish black above with a chestnut neck and a white throat. The sexes are similar, but the males are more vividly colored.

With lightning-quick strikes, the Green Heron was capturing a little fish every few seconds. Probably because the fishing was just so good, the normally somewhat shy heron didn't seem to mind that a little girl was wading not far away trying quite unsuccessfully to capture the same fish with her little hands.

When the fishing conditions are less favorable, Green Herons have amazingly learned to use bait to aid them in their fishing. They will collect and then drop bread crusts, worms, insects, bits of twigs and similar fish bait on the water and then wait motionless for hungry fish to be attracted to their fatal bait.