Green herons live in habitats with calm and slow-moving waters. By “Mike’s Birds”, via Wikimedia Commons. See link below.
The green heron is a small bird with dark feathers that lives near water. Green herons like streams, marshes, and areas where the water moves slowly or not at all.
The green heron has a long back toe on each foot that allows it to hold onto branches and sit, or perch, on the branches. Green herons spend time perched on branches that stick out over the water, where the herons sit and wait for fish to swim by. If a fish swims within reach, a heron will grab the fish with its beak and eat it. Although green herons eat frogs, insects, and other small animals, fish are the herons’ main food source.
Green herons hunt and fish in a variety of ways. A green heron will sometimes stalk its food by walking very slowly through the water until it is close enough to grab an animal with its beak. People have observed green herons using an insect, a worm, or even a feather as a lure on the surface of the water. The floating insect or object draws fish in close enough so that the herons can eat them. This is similar to the technique that humans use to fish!
Green herons spend the winter in southern parts of North America. In the spring, herons travel or migrate to northern parts of the United States, and every fall they travel back south to places where the temperatures are warm during the winter. In Florida, green herons spend the winters in mangrove swamps or other quiet places with water and fish to eat.
The green heron has a short, sharp beak that it uses to grab prey from the water. Green herons eat mostly fish. By Daniel D’Auria
Areas where green herons live are marked in blue, yellow, and green on this map of North America. Green herons typically spend summers in the yellow areas and winters in the green and blue areas. By Cephas, via Wikimedia Commons
For further information, see the above links and the following book:
Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of North America. New York, Alfred A. Knopf: 2003. P. 54.