Chordates • Earth.com

Green heron

(Butorides virescens)

galery

Description

The green heron (Butorides virescens) is a small heron of North and Central America.Butorides is from Middle English butor "bittern" and Ancient Greek -oides,"resembling",and virescens is Latin for "greenish".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,tan-splotched back and wing coverts,and greenish-yellow legs and bill.Hatchlings are covered in down feathers,light grey above,and white on the belly.The green heron's call is a loud and sudden kyow;it also makes a series of more subdued kuk calls.During courtship,the male gives a raah-rahh call with wide-open bill,makes noisy wingbeats and whoom-whoom-whoom calls in flight,and sometimes calls roo-roo to the female before landing again.While sitting,an aaroo-aaroo courtship call is also given.

Taxonomic tree:

Domain:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Class: Aves
Order:Pelecaniformes
Family:Ardeidae
Genus:Butorides
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