Green heron knows how to use tools

James Taulman
Moriarty, New Mexico
Posted 8/29/19

The green heron (Butorides virescens) is small and winters in southern New Mexico and appears throughout the state during migration to eastern breeding grounds. The green heron feeds on aquatic prey …

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Green heron knows how to use tools

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The green heron (Butorides virescens) is small and winters in southern New Mexico and appears throughout the state during migration to eastern breeding grounds. The green heron feeds on aquatic prey such as frogs, fish and arthropods, but may also eat small mammals if available.

The birds nest in trees, building a platform up to 60 feet from the ground in which they lay two to six eggs. Young may leave the nest after about two weeks but are not able to live independently until about a month old.

Fun fact: Green herons are rare among birds in the ability to use tools, such as dropping insects or other food items onto the surface of the water and then catching fish that come up to take the bait.

James Taulman is a wildlife biologist and researcher who lives in Moriarty, New Mexico.

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