A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) stalks his prey along a ponds edge at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Great Blue Heron is common near the shores of open water and in wetlands throughput most of North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest North American heron and the third largest heron in the world. Great blue herons are 115–138 cm (45–54 in) tall with a wingspan of 167–201 cm (66–79 in) and weigh about 2.23 kg (4.9 lb) in New England where this individual was photographed. These herons have long legs and cover approximately 22 cm (8.7 in) with each stride.
Herons locate their food by sight and usually swallow it whole. Typically, the great blue heron feeds in shallow waters, usually less than 50 cm (20 in) deep, by wading slowly and quickly spearing prey with its long, sharp bill. The primary food for the great blue heron is small fish, although they have been observed to feed on shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, and small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.