[order] Ciconiiformes | [family] Ardeidae | [latin] Egretta caerulea | [UK] Little Blue Heron | [FR] Aigrette bleue | [DE] Blaureiher | [ES] Garceta Azul | [IT] Airone azzurro minore | [NL] Kleine Blauwe Reiger

Kleine Blauwe Reiger determination

copyright: R. J. Schaefer

Medium-sized all dark blue long-legged long-necked wader. Usually holds neck in an "S" curve at rest and in flight The bill is long and pointed and seems a little decurved. Dull green legs, Sexes similar.

This species inhabits mangroves, coastal mudflats, wetlands, rivers and lakes. It is somewhat more common in coastal regions.

Very common species in urban and wild areas in Surinam, can be seen flying along the main river in Paramaribo. Usually together with tricolored herons or Snowy Egrets.

Feeds by slowly walking through shallow water, mostly aquatic Invertebrates and fish.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 5,700,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as 'frequent' in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeds in periphery of mixed colonies, in trees 0.5 to 2 meters above ground or water. nest is a platform made of small sticks lined with grass. Clutch size is is 3-6 eggs, incubated for about 23 days, young feldge after 30 days, but parents feed up until 50 days after leaving the nest.

In N America, extensive post-breeding dispersal towards N, especially of juveniles, with some birds reaching Canada and even occasionally Greenland. Population of USA migratory: birds from E move through Florida towards Cuba; those from W head towards Gulf of Mexico and Yucatan (SE Mexico); wintering birds occur from S USA to N South America. In Caribbean, at least some birds sedentary. Rare migrant to Paraguay, and accidental S into Argentina.