great blue heron


: a large slaty-blue American heron (Ardea herodias) that has a dark crown, showy plumes on the head and neck, is about 46 inches (117 centimeters) long, and includes a white morph see great white heron

Examples of great blue heron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hundreds of millions of the little, silvery fish play a crucial role in the ecology of coastal waters all along the Eastern Seaboard, feeding bigger fish like striped bass and weakfish; marine mammals including whales and dolphins; and birds like bald eagles, great blue herons and brown pelicans. Jon Hurdle, New York Times, 11 July 2023 During a stroll along the central pond, guests can marvel at great blue herons, cormorants, and the peculiar-looking Florida softshell turtle, while the sparkling waters just past the park are a haven for sea ducks, saltwater fish, and, of course, Florida’s native manatees. Jared Ranahan, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2023 The highlight of the hike is a 17-acre beaver pond where great blue herons nest in the spring. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 28 June 2023 In Illinois, put in for a quiet 10-mile stretch of the Galena River to see bald eagles and great blue herons as well as a historic railroad bridge and what’s left of the Galena Lock and Dam, built in 1890. Ellen Wulfhorst, USA TODAY, 29 May 2023 From Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary's six miles of nature trails through woods and marshes, birders can spot bald eagles, great blue herons, and hummingbirds. Anne Olivia Bauso, Travel + Leisure, 28 May 2023 On the leisurely float, keep your eyes peeled for great blue herons, swallows and wood ducks. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 May 2023 Another of the rare pictures that specifies a location is a dramatically silhouetted painting of the Potomac River near Key Bridge, where black rocks and blue water conceal a great blue heron. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2023 Surface water and beach sands in the channel were not found to contain elevated levels of chemicals, and an ecological assessment indicated no unacceptable risk for aquatic mammals or birds like harbor seals or the great blue heron. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'great blue heron.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of great blue heron was in 1835

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Cite this Entry

“Great blue heron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

great blue heron

: a large grayish blue American heron with a crest of dark feathers on its head

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