New York Natural Heritage Program
Great Blue Heron
Ardea herodias Linnaeus, 1758
Birds
Karney, Lee
Family: Herons, Bitterns, and Egrets (Ardeidae)

State Protection: Protected Bird
Defined as a Protected Bird by New York State law. This species may not be hunted or taken at any time in New York.

Federal Protection: Migratory Bird Treaty Act
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act implements various treaties and conventions between the U. S. and Canada, Japan, Mexico and the former Soviet Union for the protection of migratory birds. Under this Act, taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds, including nests or eggs, is unlawful unless specifically permitted by other regulations.


State Rarity Rank: S5
A State Rarity Rank of S5 means: Demonstrably secure in New York State.

Global Rarity Rank: G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5 means: Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


Did you know?
Great Blue Herons have been known to choke to death when trying to swallow a fish that is too large.

State Ranking Justification [-]
Great Blue Herons are considered a local and common breeder in upstate New York. The second Breeding Bird Atlas reported 478 confirmed breeding blocks (McGowan and Corwin 2008) representing breeding in 55 of 62 counties. The number of confirmed breeding blocks has doubled since the first Breeding Bird Atlas (Andrle and Carroll 1988 and McGowan and Corwin 2008). While populations appear to be stable, habitat loss still poses a threat to this species. At this time, New York Natural Heritage tracks rookeries with greater than 50 active nests. Most rookeries in New York have fewer than 50 active nests.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]