This past weekend, a Little Blue Heron was found and reported on Turtle Lake in Shoreview, MN. This is a first sighting in Minnesota for many birders as he is suppose to be in the southeastern portion of the US. Wonder where his folks are??
Fun facts about the Little Blue Heron from All About Birds and other misc sources
A smallish heron of the southeastern United States, the Little Blue Heron breeds in various freshwater and estuarine habitats. It is the only heron species in which first-year birds and adults show dramatically different coloration: first-year birds are pure white, while adults are blue.
White, with pale, black-tipped bill and greenish legs. Enters adult plumage in the first spring after hatching and may be pied white and blue.
Immature Little Blue Heron resembles other white herons. Snowy Egret has black bill, yellow feet, and yellow skin in front of eyes.
- White body plumage
- Blue-gray tips to the outer primaries visible from below when bird is in flight
- Gray lores
- Black-tipped bill usually with blue-gray base, but occasionally yellow or flesh
- In their first spring or first summer, immatures start gaining the adults’ dark plumage and can be mottled with blue-gray and white.
- The Snowy Egret tolerates the close proximity of white Little Blue Herons more than that of dark Little Blue Herons. A white Little Blue Heron catches more fish in the company of Snowy Egrets than when alone. This relationship may be one reason why young Little Blue Herons stay white for a year.
- Another advantage of white plumage is that young Little Blue Herons are more readily able to integrate into mixed-species flocks of white herons, thus gaining a measure of protection against predators.