Can You Own a Blue Heron As a Pet?

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Great blue herons are wild birds that cannot be owned as pets. They are the largest of the North American herons, standing nearly 54 inches tall and are found in open coastal regions, marshes, lakes and backyard ponds.

Great blue herons stalk fish and other small prey by slowly and silently wading through the water or standing very still and then striking with quick jabs from their long bills. They feed primarily on fish; however, they will also take shrimp, crabs, insects, reptiles and even small rodents. Herons locate their food by sight, and once caught, prey is swallowed whole.

Great blue herons breed in large colonies in trees that are in close proximity to lakes and wetlands. Adults return to the same colony site, or heronry, each year from December to March. Colonies can consist of five to 500 nests with the average size being around 160 nests.

One brood is raised each year, with the female laying between three and six blue eggs. Both parents are involved in feeding the young, which consists of regurgitating food that is brought back to the nest. Eggs and nestlings are preyed upon by turkey vultures, ravens, crows, hawks and raccoons.