Green herons are classified as wading birds, and as such they share traits with egrets, ibises, spoonbills, storks, and other herons that make them experts in acquiring food from shallow waters. As a group, wading birds have evolved long legs, necks, and bills.

They are the smallest of the North American herons, standing 16 to 18 inches tall with a wingspan of 25 to 27 inches. They also have noticeably shorter legs and necks than most herons. Their neck often appear even shorter since they have a habit of keeping their head pulled back onto their shoulders while resting or waiting for prey to come within striking distance.


LEGS: Green herons have long legs for wading in shallow waters.
Some bird experts believe that the bright yellow and orange color of their legs help the herons to attract fish. 



 BILL: The Green heron's long and heavy bill helps it to catch and control large prey. They also have very acute vision, which helps them capture prey with a very low miss rate.

 NECK: Green herons stand motionless in crouched positions with their necks retracted for long periods of time. They wait patiently, ready to lunge forward and capture any prey that may approach. Periodically the herons will alternate this with slow walking while maintaining their       crouched posture. 

 As demonstrated in this picture, the heron’s posture is quite deceiving and their necks are actually rather long.