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Great blue heron

Great blue heron, San Cristobal
© Jacqueline Burke

Common name:

Great blue heron

Scientific name:

Ardea herodias cognata

Spanish name:

Garzón azul de Galápagos

Conservation status:

Least Concern


Average lifespan:

15 years

Average size:

1 metre

Maximum size:

1.37 metres

Average weight:

2.35 kilograms


The great blue heron is a large wading bird found across most of North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. The birds occurring in the Galapagos Islands are from the subspecies cognata 

Although its name suggests otherwise, the great blue heron is mostly grey. The largest heron in Galapagos, it has a white crown, cheeks and throat, with a black eye stripe, merging into long black plumes. Its long bill is yellow, and it has distinctive chestnut feathers on its thighs. Females have similar plumage to males, but they are slightly smaller. Juveniles are generally darker than adults, with a darker crown.  

Great blue herons in Galapagos

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