We see a lot of birds in My Florida Backyard, especially wading birds around the edge of the pond. Some wading birds, like White Ibis, are known to wander up into the yard looking for lunch, but most of the egrets and herons are much more common along the shore. So we were a little surprised to find this Little Blue Heron walking the fence like an acrobat the other day.
Little Blue Herons (Egretta caerulea) are common on Florida's shorelines, both salt and fresh. They're also found west to Texas and up the Atlantic Coast to Virginia and even further north in the summer. They grow to about two feet tall, with a wingspan of about three to four feet.
One of the most interesting things about the Little Blue Heron is that its immature form is pure white. It's possible to confuse it with a Snowy Egret at this point, but Snowy Egrets have yellow feet and yellow at the base of their beak, so as long as you get a good look, it's pretty easy to tell them apart. As it matures, the Little Blue Heron takes on a mottled appearance as the feathers darken to the iridescent blue of the adult bird.
Little Blues feed on small fish and other shoreline creatures. Up on dry land, working its way along the fence, this bird was most likely looking for insects or lizards to snack on. We're always glad to see wildlife finding what it needs to survive right here in My Florida Backyard!