The Green Heron is relatively small; adult body length is about 44 cm (17 in). The neck is often pulled in tight against the body. Adults have a glossy, greenish-black cap, a greenish back and wings that are grey-black grading into green or blue, a chestnut neck with a white line down the front, grey underparts and short yellow legs. The bill is dark with a long, sharp point. Female adults tend to be smaller than males, and have duller and lighter plumage, particularly in the breeding season. Juveniles are duller, with the head sides, neck and underparts streaked brown and white.

Habitat and Distribution

It is found in North and Central America and are extremely rare vagrants to western Europe. The birds from the Pacific coast of North America may similarly stray as far as Hawaii. The habitat of the Green Heron is small wetlands in low-lying areas.


They mainly eat small fish, frogs and arthropods, but may take any invertebrate or vertebrate prey they can catch, including leeches and mice. They perch upon branches or stand still in water and await prey.


Breeding is well underway by end of May.They nest in forest and swamp patches, over water or in plants near water, the nests are a platform of sticks. The clutch is usually 2 to 6 pale green eggs which are laid in 2 day intervals. After the last egg has been laid, both parents incubate for about 19 to 21 days until hatching, and feed the young birds.

Calls and Songs

The Green Heron's call is a loud and sudden kyow; it also makes a series of more subdued kuk calls. The male gives a raah-rahh call during courtship, in flight it gives a raah-rahh call. Sometimes it calls roo-roo.