A Green Heron is a small (17-18 in.) dark stocky wading bird with a greenish black crown; chestnut face and neck; blue-gray back and wings with green iridescence and yellow legs. In open areas, it often flicks its tail nervously. When feeding, it stakes its prey (mostly small fish) after stalking, standing and waiting to strike. Its voice is generally silent.
Green Heron breed later in the spring than the Great Blue Heron. Unlike other herons, the Green Heron usually nests singly rather than communally. The male chooses the nesting territory and repeatedly calls from a perch in a tree to attract the female. A male’s display includes stretching the neck forward and down and snapping the bill shut, pointing bill straight upward while swaying back and forth. The male and female build the nest in low shrubs, usually in the lower inside portion of rookery shrubs. Males begin the nest construction, and then the female continue to build the nest while male brings nest material. Female lays 3-5 pale green or blue-green eggs. Incubation by both sexes lasts 19-25 days.
Green Heron was formerly known as Green-backed Heron.