Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
Status in the Checklist Area - Uncommon*

Our smallest heron, about the size of a crow. Formerly known as Green-backed Heron. Fairly secretive and quiet remaining in or close to cover when feeding. Habitats include marshes, sloughs and small lakes. Feeds mostly on small fish but also eats frogs, insects and other invertebrates. Breeds in the checlist area. Nest is similar to a crow's made of small sticks and twigs. The nest is usually built in trees and shrubs. Sometimes found in small colonies. Young are excellent climbers and are tended by adults for over a month after leaving the nest.

Some populations known to use 'bait' of small twigs, berries, insects and crackers to attract fish closer; a behaviour not noted in local population as yet (see video below). Our checklist area falls into the most northerly part of their range. Most migrate south to South America in the winter. A few remain behind as a rare over-wintering species.

Best viewing locations:
They are seen annually during the summer in the Hope Slough in Chilliwack especially around Young Road. Other areas of similar habitat has probably had them at one time or another too and is worth checking out. The Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve and Cheam Lake Wetlands have annual sightings as well. .

Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)

Noteworthy Data
17-Aug-2010 Topley Park, Fairfield Island, Chilliwack D. K. & L. Buckley Fledgling perched in tree. Seen on 21 Aug as well. Photographed.
15-Dec-2007 Hope Slough, Chilliwack D. Beeke Recorded on Christmas Bird Count.
4-Dec-2007 Sardis Pond, Chilliwack S. Bodnar Feeding at edge of pond. Also observed 6 December 2007.
2-Dec-2005 Lickman Road salmon spawning channels, Chilliwack G. Gadsden Feeding in rearing ponds.
24-Aug-2001 Cheam Lake Wetlands, Popkum G. Gadsden Four juveniles and three adults perched in tree snags in late afternoon.
5-Aug-1999 Cheam Lake Wetlands, Popkum G. Gadsden Three juveniles and an adult perched in a tree.
Audio and Video    

YouTube video of a Green Heron using bread to attract fish at Granada in the Caribbean.


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