All Herons In Nova Scotia (ID, Photos, Calls)

Nova Scotia has been home to five of the 17 species of herons that live throughout North America on a regular basis. There are ten more that are unique or happenstance. This guide will teach you about these long-legged birds and help you identify them.

Herons, which can be found in saltwater, freshwater, and even peering into your backyard pond for a quick snack, are water-loving birds.

However, many of your fish herons are protected and should not be caught in a net.

Herons prefer to hunt alone by standing perfectly still and waiting or by dashing about to stir up the prey, which they do often in large colonies called heronries.

A group of herons is known by a variety of names, including “rookery,” “battery,” and even the term “siege.”

You should learn more about the ducks, swans, or pelicans that you may see in Nova Scotia if you like seeing waterbirds.

15 Species Of Heron In Nova Scotia

1. Great Blue Heron

Throughout the breeding season, Great Blue Herons may be found along Nova Scotia’s shore, but their numbers increase during fall migration from August to October.

They’ve been seen in 11% of summer checklists and 25% of migratory checklists submitted by birdwatchers for the province, according to birdwatchers.

The Great Blue Heron is North America’s largest heron, and it is a huge, majestic bird.

Their faces are white, and their crests or plumes extend from the front of their eyes to the nape of their necks. They have a yellow-orangish bill.

They have grayish-blue bodies with long gray legs and a long grey neck with black and white streaking in the front.

  • Ardea herodias
  • Length: 46 – 52 in (117 – 132 cm)
  • Weight: 128 oz (3628 g)
  • Wingspan: 77 – 82 in (196 – 208 cm)

Most US states have Great Blue Herons that stay throughout the year, although those who breed in the Midwestern and Canadian regions migrate south.

In Florida, the Great Blue Heron is divided into two subspecies: the Great White Heron.

Several wetland habitats are home to Great Blue Herons. Fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded marshes, lake edges, and shorelines may all have them.

Fish, frogs, salamanders, shrimps, crabs, dragonflies, grasshoppers, and other aquatic insects make up the majority of Great Blue Herons’ diets.

When wading or standing in water, they capture their prey. Hovering over water, diving into it, leaping feet-first from perches, and floating on the surface are all possibilities.

Great Blue Heron colonies may be found in high up in the trees near bodies of water. Twigs and sticks are used to construct the nests, which are then lined with softer material.

Great Blue Herons may rebuild and expand their nests over time, since they reuse their nests.

After that, the female lays two to seven eggs. The eggs are incubated for roughly four weeks by both parents.

Fun Fact: With their heads thrown back, Great Blue Herons protect their feeding area with spectacular wing-outstretched displays.

2. American Bittern

In Nova Scotia, American Bitterns breed, but from May to June, their numbers in the east of the province increase. They come in April, then migrate in October.

In the spring of the American Bittern, you may hear their unusual watery boom calls even before you see them if you’re lucky. Below are some of their videos that you may enjoy.

The American Bittern, a member of the Heron family, is a stout, medium-sized solitary bird.

Because of their brown striped and speckled patterning and tendency to stay motionless amid the reeds with their head tilted upwards, they resemble the reeds they hide in.

They have short legs and yellow eyes that turn orange during courtship.

  • Botaurus lentiginosus
  • Length: 23 in (58 cm)
  • Weight: 25.6 oz (726 g)
  • Wingspan: 42 – 50 in (107 – 127 cm)

Before heading to the Gulf Coast and Mexico, American Bitterns breed in Canada and northern US states.

Shallow, freshwater marshes and wetlands with tall reeds are virtually home to American Bitterns.

To locate them, keep your eyes trained on the margins of lakes and ponds amid the rough vegetation.

Fish, crustaceans, insects, amphibians, and small mammals make up the American Bitterns’ diet. They hide among the reeds, remaining motionless and silent as they wait for their prey to approach, before dashing forward abruptly to capture them in their beaks.

American Bittern Calls: Listen to their strange watery boom calls. It’s one of the most perplexing bird calls.

American Bitterns’ nests may be found among rough vegetation on the water. Females pick a nest location and construct it with nearby reeds, sedges, cattails, and other plants.

They incubate seven eggs for around twenty-six days, which they lay up to seven times. Females feed the chicks directly into their beaks when they are born. They fled the nest after two weeks, and are fully developed in six to seven weeks.

Fun Fact: Like the reeds that conceal them to disguise themselves, American Bitterns point upwards and sway gently from side to side.

3. Great Egret

In Nova Scotia, Great Egrets are uncommon or accidental species, however they may be seen during the breeding season and, to a lesser extent, during migration.

When males have neon green skin and long, wispy feathers (aigrettes) extending from their backs to their tails, which they display during courting, great egrets are at their most beautiful throughout the breeding season.

Great White Herons are big, all-white herons with a white head. Common egrets are another name for them. These enormous white birds feature knife-like, long, brilliant yellow beaks, as well as black legs and feet.

Males, females, and juveniles of both sexes have the same appearance.

  • Ardea alba
  • Length: 37 – 41 in (94 – 104cm)
  • Weight: 59.96 oz (1699 g)
  • Wingspan: 54 – 55 in (137 – 140 cm)

The Great Egret can be found all over the globe. Those in the southern and seaside US states remain throughout the year, however those in more central regions migrate south.

Great Egrets may be found in both freshwater and saltwater marshes, as well as fish ponds.

Fish, frogs, small mammals, crustaceans, and insects make up the majority of Great Egret’s diet. Great Egrets, which stand motionless on the water waiting for and scouting out their prey before striking and spearing it with their long bills, are a sight to see.

In colonies, Great Egret nests may be found. To keep predators such as raccoons at bay, they are often placed high up in trees, preferably on islands.

Marsh plant sticks, twigs, and stems were used to create them. Both parents incubate the eggs for around twenty-five days, which can contain up to six eggs.

Fun Fact: Due to their long white feathers (aigrettes), the Great Egret was nearly driven extinct. They were mostly utilized to adorn ladies’ hats and were nearly hunted to extinction.

4. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

During migration from August to September, yellow-crowned night-herons may be seen along Nova Scotia’s south coast, but they are a uncommon or accidental species in the province.

The crowns of adult Yellow-crowned Night Herons are yellow, with two plumes extending from the head. Their bill is large, and it’s black. Their remaining heads are black, save for a little white area on the sides below their eyes.

As they grew up, their eyes became red and changed from yellow to orange to red.

Their wings have a scaled pattern and their bodies are gray-blue. During the breeding season, their legs become coral, pink, or red and are long and yellow.

Grayish-brown juveniles with white streaks and spots cover the entire body. It takes three years for them to reach adulthood.

  • Nyctanassa violacea
  • Length: 22 – 28 in (56 – 71 cm)
  • Weight: 25.6 oz ( 726 g)
  • Wingspan: 42 0 44 in (107 – 112 cm)

Before migrating south, yellow-crowned nightherons breed primarily in the southeastern United States. Throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, and northern South America, they stay all year.

In coastal locations with a lot of crustaceans, shallow waters, and suitable feeding habitat on the outskirts, you may observe Yellow-crowned Night-herons at dawn and dusk.

Crustaceans like crabs and crayfish make up the majority of Yellow-crowned Night-herons’ diets. Fish, insects, worms, mollusks, lizards, snakes, rats, and birds are among the animals they consume. Little prey may be devoured instantly by them.

Crabs are often slaughtered by being chopped up or having their limbs severed.

Yellow-crowned Night-herons’ nests are frequently discovered in tiny loose colonies, yet they always construct their nests near water. Both parents construct the nests using grass, leaves, or moss-softened sticks and twigs.

After that, she deposits up to eight eggs, which they share for three weeks while incubating them. The chicks are given regurgitated food when they hatch. They fledge after roughly a month and can fly on their own at the age of fifty days.

Fun Fact: The eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus, which can kill horses and people, is carried by the yellow-crowned night-heron.

5. Snowy Egret

Snowy Egrets have been observed along the shore during the breeding season and a few during migration, despite being regarded uncommon or accidental species in Nova Scotia.

Little all-white herons called snowy egrets, as the name implies. Long, black bills, long, black legs, and bright yellow feet characterize these birds with yellow irises and skin around their eyes.

Long, lacy feathers develop on their heads, shoulders, and backs throughout the breeding season. During courting, their lores and feet turn orange-red, as does their facial skin.

Interestingly, during violent confrontations, their parts of the bodies become bright red.

Adults have head plumes, but juveniles do not. Their bills and legs are also lighter in color, with lores and legs that are more greenish-yellow.

  • Egretta thula
  • Length: 22 – 27 in (56 -69 cm)
  • Weight: 16.75 oz (475 g)
  • Wingspan: 39.4 in (100 cm)

Except for the Gulf Coast and the southwest coast, snowy egrets migrate from most states in the US. Throughout Central, South, and North America, they stay throughout the year.

Marshlands, riverbanks, lakesides, pools, salt marshes, and estuaries are all good places to look for Snowy Egrets. They like marshland with safe trees and shrubs for nesting.

Fish, crustaceans, snails, frogs, and crayfish are all hunted by snowy egrets in shallow water. They may rest still and wait for prey to approach them, or they may agitate the water to bring their meal to the surface.

Males choose the nests of Snowy Egrets. They choose a location and dress themselves up to entice prospective mates. Males continue to offer sticks, sedges, or reeds while the female prepares the nest when they couple up.

Nesting takes place in trees or shrubs on the ground, and they’re frequently hidden. Both parents incubate their eggs, which the female lays two to six at a time. The average incubation period is twenty-four days.

Fun Fact: Snowy egrets were on the verge of extinction because of their lovely white head feathers, which were often employed as a hat decoration or accessory.

6. Little Blue Heron

In Nova Scotia, Little Blue Herons are a uncommon or accidental species, but during migration, you may see them along the shore.

Little Blue Herons, especially little juveniles, are not small birds. With long, elongated bodies, they range in size from medium to large. With dangling feathers over their nape, their heads and necks have a purple tint.

During the breeding season, their eyes may turn gray-green and are pale yellow. Two-toned – light blue or grayish with black tips for their long, dagger-like bills. Slate-blue is the color of their skin. They have black to gray-green legs that are very long.

During their first year of life, juvenile Little Blue Herons are completely white before developing a brown-grey coloration.

  • Egretta caerulea
  • Length: 24 – 29 in (61 – 74 cm)
  • Weight: 16.22 oz (460 g)
  • Wingspan: 40 – 41 in (102 – 104 cm)

Before flying south, Little Blue Herons breed in the eastern United States, although those along the Gulf Coast and Mexico remain throughout the year.

Little Blue Herons may be seen around water, such as in marshes, ponds, streams, lagoons, tidal flats, canals, ditches, fish hatcheries, and flooded fields.

In comparison to other herons, Little Blue Herons feed in a more elegant manner. They simply stand and wait in shallow waters for their prey, rather than dashing about across the water.

Fish, frogs, snakes, turtles, spiders, crustaceans, mice, and insects make up the Little Blue Heron’s diet. Adults prefer to go alone, whereas juveniles like to mix with other groups.

Fun Fact: Juvenile Little Blue Herons’ presence among Snowy Egrets allows them to capture additional fish and offer protection from predators, due to their white coloring.

7. Black-crowned Night-Heron

In Nova Scotia, black-crowned night-herons are only occasionally seen, although they do breed in the province’s southwest.

The typical description of the heron family does not apply to Black-crowned Night-Herons, or simply Night Herons. It has a shorter bill, neck, and legs than the common stocky.

Black caps that extend from a white line above their black bills characterize adult Black-crowned Night-herons.

The lores (in front of the eye, towards the beak) are green-blue, and their eyes are red. The bottom part is white, while the back is black. Yellow is the color of their legs and feet.

The head and back become glossy blue-green during the breeding season, with two or three white feathers appearing on the crown. The legs and feet become red or pink, while the lores turn black.

The overall color of juveniles is a dull grayish-brown with streaks and spots.

  • Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Length: 25 – 28 in (64 – 71 cm)
  • Weight: 38.8 oz (1100 g)
  • Wingspan: 44 – 45 in (112 – 114 cm)

The world range of Black-crowned Night-herons is enormous. They breed in the United States and Canada before going south, in North America. Near the coasts, some endure all year.

Wetland environments, such as shallow freshwater or brackish rivers, are home to Black-crowned Night-herons. Artificial habitats such as reservoirs, canals, and fish ponds are also utilized to breed them.

Night-feeding black-crowned nightherons feast on crayfish and fish, as well as turtles or worms, and are night feeders.

In preparation for selecting their mates, male Black-crowned Night-herons build nests in bushes or trees, which are initiated by the males.

The female will lay up to seven eggs over the course of two days. For roughly twenty-four days after they are deposited, both parents begin to incubate the eggs. For about three weeks, the parents will look after their kid.

Fun Fact: For more than a century, the National Zoo in Washington DC has hosted a colony of Black-crowned Night-herons during the summer.

8. Cattle Egret

In Nova Scotia, Cattle Egrets are considered uncommon or accidental species, having last been seen in 2021.

Cattle Egrets have a clever technique of catching their food…they stand on the backs of cattle, which allows them to capture the fleeing prey when the cattle shift and stir up the earth.

The white bodies and pale orange-brown markings on the heads, necks, and backs of Cattle Egrets make them small, short-necked egrets.

Their eyes and face skin are yellow in color. They have greenish-black legs and small yellow beaks. Males and femen look similar.

During the breeding season, Cattle Egrets change color and become brighter, especially on their legs and face.

Their pale orange patches become darker orange during the breeding season. At the peak of their courting, their bills, legs, and irises become brilliant red, and their face skin (lores) becomes pinkish-red.

  • Bubulcus ibis
  • Length: 19 – 21 in (48 – 53 cm)
  • Weight: 17.98 oz (510 g)
  • Wingspan: 36 – 38 in (91 – 97 cm)

Cattle Egrets may be found throughout the world, but those in North America spend the whole year in Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and southern US states.

Those that breed further north, however, travel south after mating, mostly in the eastern United States.

Cattle Egrets may be found in many different habitats, including grasslands, pastures, agricultural fields, and rice fields where hoofed animals are present.

They do venture into the edges of aquatic environments, such as riverbanks, ponds, and shallow marshes, but prefer to stay on land and on top of cattle. Golf courses, lawns, athletic fields, dumps, and parks are some of the places where they may be found.

Insects, mostly grasshoppers, crickets, flies, beetles, and moths are the diet of Cattle Egrets. Spiders, frogs, small snakes, lizards, earthworms, and fish are also eaten by them.

Females lay up to nine eggs, which take approximately twenty-five days to hatch. The juvenile takes around 45 days to fledge, develop fully independent of their parents, and reach maturity.

Fun Fact: Instead of correcting for light refraction when eating in water, the Cattle Egret’s eyes have evolved to tolerate hunting on land by having binocular vision for determining distance.

9. Green Heron

Nova Scotia has a small population of Green Herons, but during migration they have been sighted along the shore.

The glossy green-black sheen of the crowns, crests, backs, and wings of Green Herons attracts attention as they seem hunchbacked and black from afar. You need to get closer to see this.

They have two-toned bills that change color during the breeding season, becoming black on top and yellow on the bottom. Their irises and legs also become orange in color.

Chestnut or maroon is their hair, neck, and cleavage. The front length of their neck has a white central stripe running down it. They have a gray belly, just like you!

With dark caps and a crest, juveniles are browner.

  • Butorides virescens
  • Length: 18 – 22 in (46 – 56 cm)
  • Weight: 9.17 oz (260 g)
  • Wingspan: 25 – 26 in (64 – 66 cm)

Before migrating south, green herons breed mostly in the eastern US and on the Pacific Coast. Those, however, remain throughout the year along the Gulf Coast, Caribbean, and Mexico.

Green Herons may be found in swamps, marshes, lakes, ponds, and other wet environments with dense vegetation. If there are water sources nearby, they may stay in dry woods or orchards instead of coastal and inland wetlands.

Little fish, insects, spiders, crustaceans, snails, amphibians, reptiles, and rodents make up the Green Herons’ diet. Instead of wading, they hunt from the beach by perched on sticks over the water.

Green Heron nests are constructed of long, slender twigs that are placed high in the treetops above water, although they may also be found beneath shrubs.

Females lay two to six eggs over two-day periods. The last egg is deposited, and the parents start incubating it for around twenty days. As soon as the eggs are hatched, they both feed their offspring.

Fun Facts:  Bait, such as bread, feathers, twigs, and leaves are used by green herons for foraging. (Davis and Kushlan 1994) Green Herons are one of the few bird species that use tools.

10. Tricolored Heron

In Nova Scotia, Tricolored Herons are a rare sight and have been declared an unintentional species. In 2022, they were spotted in Chester and Chezzetcook.

The white belly and neck stripe of a Tricolored Heron instantly distinguishes it from other herons.

Adults that are not breeding have a mixture of blue-gray, purple, and white feathers. Their tips are black, and their bills are yellowish or greyish. They have yellow or olive green legs and feet.

The base of the bill of breeding adults becomes blue, and they have thin, white feathers extending from their back of their heads. Their necks and backs have become finer with feathers. Their legs, too, turn scarlet in hue.

The neck, upper breasts, upper back, and wings of juveniles are more reddish-brown in color.

  • Egretta tricolor
  • Length: 24 – 26 in (61 – 66 cm)
  • Weight: 14.6 oz (414 g)
  • Wingspan: 36 in (91 cm)

Throughout the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and northern South America, tricolored Herons may be found all year. Those who breed farther north along the Atlantic Coast migrate south.

In freshwater and brackish marshes, estuaries, and coastal tidal pools or swamps, you may find Tricolored Herons.

Tricolored Herons are territorial feeders who will defend their feeding sites. Other wading birds that want to feed on their region and enjoy eating tiny fish, frogs, crustaceans, and insects will be chased away by them.

Stalking, chasing, standing, and waiting for their prey is what you should expect from them. Before striking, they crouch low in the water with their bellies resting on the surface and their necks drawn in.

Tricolored Heron nests are constructed of sticks and may be found in trees and shrubs. The female lays three to five eggs, and the parents spend three weeks incubating them together before they hatch. They also give the baby breast milk.

Fun Fact: The Louisiana heron was the name given to the Tricolored Heron, which is only a dark-colored heron with a white belly.

11. Little Egret

In Nova Scotia, Little Egrets are a uncommon or accidental species, and they haven’t been seen since 2021 at Antigonish Landing.

All white-bodied little egrets Long, slender necks, black beaks with yellow eyes, yellow facial skin (lores), long black legs, and yellow foot are some of the features they have.

Little Egrets’ wispy feathers on the crowns of their heads, neck, and backs are visible during the breeding season. At the peak of courtship, their face skin becomes red, and their feet become pink or red.

In addition, dark morphs with a blue-gray tint rather than white may be found.

Juvies have greenish-black legs and duller yellow feet, much as adults, but they seem to be less grayish/brownish.

  • Egretta garzetta
  • Length: 22 – 26 in (56 – 66 cm)
  • Weight: 17.6 oz (499 g)
  • Wingspan: 34 – 41 in (86 – 104 cm)

Little Egrets are casual visitors to the United States and Canada, but they are known to frequent Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Little Egrets may be seen in lakeshores, riverbanks, ponds, lagoons, marshes, and canals where they may also hunt in fish ponds.

Little Egrets either wait for fish to come or disturb the water to scare them out as their primary food.

Little Egret nests are usually constructed high in the trees or shrubs, in reed beds or mangroves, and are made of platform sticks. Females do the construction while males discover and carry the materials for building.

The female produces up to six eggs, which the male and female incubate for three weeks. For almost two weeks, both parents look after their children. Six weeks later, they fledge.

Fun Fact: Because of the popularity of feathers for hair decoration at the time, the Little Egrets were formerly extinct in Ireland and Great Britain due to overhunting.

12. Gray Heron

In Nova Scotia, the gray heron is an uncommon sight and has been labeled as an accidental species. In 2020, they were only seen in the Kentville and Canning areas.

The Gray Heron is a grayish-white bird with ash-grey upper feathers and grayish-white lower feathers. It is named for its grayish color.

Its neck is white, with long feathers down its chest. Its head is white and black. Its upper bill is pinkish-yellow and long. It has a pair of long, brown legs.

Females are generally smaller than males, but they look similar. The heads of juveniles are dull grey, while the crowns and backs are dark grey.

Great Blue Herons are larger and have brown flanks and thighs, so Gray Herons look a lot like them.

  • Ardea cinerea
  • Length: 33 – 40 in (84 – 102 cm)
  • Weight: 35.2 – 73.6 oz (997 – 2085 g)
  • Wingspan: 61 – 77 in (155 – 195 cm)

The typical habitat of the Gray Herons is Europe, Asia, and Africa, although they have been straying into North America more often lately.

Lakes, reservoirs, small and large rivers, marshes, ponds, flooded places, coastal lagoons, and estuaries are examples of places where Gray Herons may be found with water and fish.

Because of their huge size and ability to capture prey in the water at speeds, gray herons are considered apex predators.

When they’re within striking range, they strike accurately and skillfully with their long, strong bills. They can be very still as they observe their prey.

On land, the bill pierces and beats larger prey into submission.

Before being consumed entirely, they occasionally drown or suffocate their victim or break their necks (sounds terrible!).

Gray Heron nests are often found in trees, close to water, and high up. Because they reuse their nests year after year, they develop in size as more materials are added.

The nesting material is obtained by males, while the nests are constructed by females. After that, the females lay three to five eggs, which the parents incubate for around twenty-six days. Parents regurgitate fish in order to feed their young when they hatch.

Fun Fact: Gray Herons fly with their heads pulled back and their long necks retracted into an S-shape, making it easy to identify them in flight. Herons with their necks extended are also known to fly.

13. Least Bittern

In Nova Scotia, least bitterns are uncommon, but they were seen in Halifax in 2022.

The smallest herons in the Americas, least bitterns are difficult to locate amid the reeds, but they may be heard.

Their yellow beak has a black cap and a black top, and they are brown and white in color. They grip the reeds with their long toes and claws.

Females and juveniles have lighter backs and crowns than males, but they are otherwise similar.

  • Ixobrychus exilis
  • Length: 11 – 14 in (28 – 36 cm)
  • Weight: 3 oz (85 g)
  • Wingspan: 16 – 18 in (41 – 46 cm)

The Bitterns’ normal habitat is Europe and Africa, although they may be found in North America on occasion.

In thick freshwater and brackish marshlands with many tall cattails and reeds, you may find Least Bitterns. When they perch on reeds, look for them.

They’ll immediately freeze up, raise their bills to the sky, and sway in time with the reeds when they sense danger.

Little fish, frogs, tadpoles, salamanders, slugs, dragonflies, aquatic bugs, and occasionally mice make up the food of least bitterns. They sit on the reeds, doing acrobatic twists and contortions to reach their prey on the water’s surface.

The female of Least Bitterns creates well-concealed nests from cattails and marsh vegetation, which are well-organized. Both parents care for the eggs for around twenty days, which she lays up to seven of. Subsequently, they regurgitate food to feed newly-hatched chicks.

Fun Fact: Long necks, but generally in a hunchbacked form, are characteristic of Least Bitterns.

14. Western Reef Heron

In Nova Scotia, Western Reef-Herons are an accidental species. In the state, they are very unusual and have only been seen in Cape Breton in 2006.

The thin-bodied, long-necked, black-legged, and yellow-footed Western Reef Herons are small. Their yellow feet turn orange or red during the breeding season, and their bills become completely black. They also have two lengthy feathers on their nape.

Dark and White are two color morphs of Western Reef Herons. The white have white bodies, while the Dark Morph has grayish-black. Their eyes are yellow, and their legs and feet are black.

  • Egretta gularis
  • Length: 22 – 26 in (56 – 66 cm)
  • Weight: 14.1 oz (400 g)
  • Wingspan: 40 – 43 in (102 – 109 cm)

Herons from the Western Reef migrate across Africa, Asia, and southern Europe, with a few strays in the United States. Around coastal water, you may find them.

Fish, crustaceans, amphibians, mollusks, tiny reptiles, and birds make up the Western Reef Heron’s diet. They’ll stay still and wait for their meal to approach them, alternately stirring the shallow water with their feet and bringing it to the surface.

Western Reef Heron nests are shaped like platforms and constructed of sticks and branches. Females lay three to five eggs at a time, and the first egg is incubated as soon as it is laid. The eggs take twenty-four days to hatch, with both parents incubating them.

Fun Fact: The United States saw its first Western Reef Heron in 1983 on Nantucket, but the species has since been seen numerous additional times.

15. Reddish Egret

In Nova Scotia, Reddish Egrets are classified as a near-threatened species that has not been seen in recent years, according to records.

This is one of the finest birds to observe, with Reddish Egrets’ dark pink and grayish-blue hues and energetic hunting for fish.

Reddish Egrets come in dark and light morphs, although white morphs are uncommon. They are called Reddish Egrets, but they are actually dark and light variants.

Blue-gray bodies and cinnamon-toned necks, breasts, and heads are found on dark morph Reddish Egrets. Pink with a black tip, their bills are colorful.

The bodies of white morphs are completely devoid of color. They, on the other hand, have blue-black legs and feet with straw yellow eyes (lores) that are surrounded by darker skin.

Adults may mate with either morph, as juveniles are dark or white.

  • Egretta rufescens
  • Length: 27 – 32 in (69 – 81 cm)
  • Weight: 15.9 oz (451 g)
  • Wingspan: 46 in (117 cm)

The Gulf Coast, East Coast, and Mexico until northern South America are home to Reddish Egrets all year.

In open marine flats and beaches, you may see Reddish Egrets. Marshes, shallow bays, and lagoons are also home to them.

Reddish Egrets are mostly solitary birds that forage and eat. In the hopes of catching fish, they cross shallow, flooded flats. They immediately stab the fish with their beaks after succeeding in frightening them up.

Reddish Egret nests are frequently found in colonies, with both parents constructing a stick platform. They’re often found on small islands with nearby fishing spots.

The female produces up to seven eggs, which both parents incubate for twenty-five days. They will feed their young for up to nine weeks after they have fled the nest, despite the fact that they care for them.

Fun Fact: The male will toss his head and snap his beak while mating, causing his feathers to puff out and stand out on his head, neck, and back.

How Frequently Herons Are Spotted In Nova Scotia In Summer And Winter

Checklists are a fantastic method of discovering which birds may be seen in your region. In Nova Scotia, these tables show which herons are most regularly seen on ebird checklists throughout the summer and winter.

Herons in Nova Scotia in summer:

Great Blue Heron 11.7%

American Bittern 1.0%

Great Egret 0.3%

Snowy Egret 0.2%

Black-crowned Night-Heron 0.1%

Little Blue Heron 0.1%

Green Heron 0.1%

Gray Heron 0.1%

Cattle Egret <0.1%

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron <0.1%

Tricolored Heron <0.1%

Little Egret <0.1%

Western Reef-Heron <0.1%

Least Bittern <0.1%

Herons in Nova Scotia in winter:

Great Blue Heron 0.5%

Great Egret 0.1%

Cattle Egret <0.1%

American Bittern <0.1%

Black-crowned Night-Heron <0.1%

Snowy Egret <0.1%

Little Blue Heron <0.1%

Little Egret <0.1%

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