Great Blue Heron

What’s the biggest, or tallest, heron in North America? 

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Standing at 39-52 in (99-132cm) tall, it’s the Great Blue Heron. This bird is about the height of an average 9 yr old in San Diego. ( ). That’s a tall bird!

The Great Blue Heron can be found on many lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes around San Diego. They tend to wade in the water or stand on the rocks and branches next to the water. They stand very still. When a fish or frog swims by the Great Blue Heron quickly spears it with it’s long sharp bill.

We found this Great Blue Heron on the San Diego River near the Southern Wildlife Preserve, a wonderful place to walk or ride a bike and see wildlife. Herons have been spotted up the coast from Imperial Beach to Mission Bay to Oceanside Harbor. They’ve also been sees as far inland as Sweetwater Reservoir, Lower Otay Lake, and Lake Morena.

If you’ve been lucky enough to see one of these great birds flying over the water it’s a majestic sight.


Kids Activities: Coloring pages for Thanksgiving.
Kids Activities: Coloring pages for Thanksgiving.

Get the California Ground Squirrel Coloring page along with a few other local creatures. And have fun coloring and learning.

Great Blue Heron Stats

Description: Large mainly greyish heron with pale or yellowish bill. Flies with its neck folded.
Size: 39-52 in (99-132cm)
Wingspan: 5ft 10in (1.8m)
Habitat: Lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes
Range: Coastal Alaska, south-central Canada, and Nova Scotia south to Mexico and West Indies. Winters as far north as southern Alaska, central United States, and southern New England.
Fascinating Fact: largest North American Heron
Status: Least concern

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Species: A. herodias

Follow Us to Find Out More Cool Creature Stuff!

The San Diego Creature Project is an animated children’s program created by kids, for kids. Follow three brothers, their cousin, and their dog Ryan as they solve creature mysteries with science and learn about life in Southern California.


Knopf, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, 1997. P.367 (Retrieved 06Sept2020)

San Diego Creature Project