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Little Blue Heron

Egretta caerulea

The Little Blue Heron, until recently was only known to  breed from the Gulf states of the USA through Central America and the Caribbean south to Peru and Uruguay. In the past few years (since the 1980’s) it has been found year round and breeding in San Diego.

During their first year, the Little Blue Heron is white, which seems to help it blend in with groups of Snowy Egrets. As it begins its second year it develops blue-gray blotches, which has been called a “calico” phase. As an adult, its blue-gray and purple coloration gives it a striking appearance. During the early 20th century, when the millinery trade nearly exterminated many of the white herons and egrets so ladies could have pretty hats, the Little Blue Herons were spared because their feathers were not in demand.

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