In this post I’d like to share a little information about a bird that we see a lot in The Texas Hill Country. Known to the scientific community as Butorides virescens maculata it’s more common name is Green Heron. Through the years I noticed that more and more of these are appearing around my house. I live on 13.5 acres just outside of Brownwood in the Northern Hill Country. Several years ago We added a small pond just a couple of hundred feet from the house. It soon began attracting deer and all sorts of small wildlife and birds. Green Herons are one of the many species I’ve enjoyed observing around the pond. this bird is an excellent fisher and most would say they’re a little bit smarter than the average bird.
Wikipedia states the length of an adult Green Heron as 17 inches. In most cases when we see a Green Heron in the Hill country they appear to be much smaller than that. You rarely see a Green Heron with their neck extended as in the picture above. They spend most of their time with their neck retracted which gives them the appearance of being much shorter.
Green Herons are usually pretty bashful and as soon as a human is anywhere in sight they make themselves scarce. Through the years I’ve also observed that you can get much closer to them if you’re on a ridding lawnmower. Last year I was able to ride my “John Deere” up within 15 feet of one and captured the image at right above with my iPhone. I assume you could use an ATV or other vehicle to get just as close. I also assume that the reason for this is they just instinctively know that you have your hands full operating the vehicle and can’t use them to harm anything.
The video below illustrates the intelligence of a Green Heron by taking a little piece of bread and using it as bait for fish. Watch and be amazed. :-?