Standing about 4 ft. tall with a wingspan of 6 ft., the Great Blue Heron is an easily seen and recognizable bird along the Colorado or Green River corridors. They are often seen standing in shallow water along the river shore just waiting. Waiting for a meal, fish or some other river denizen, to swim by. No rafting or canoe trip would be complete without seeing several. If you take a jetboat trip down the Colorado River you may even scare one into flight and watch as it races alongside the speeding boat for a half mile or so.
Author Craig Childs wrote of the Great Blue, "The wings beat almost too slow…but somehow it was flying." It takes off low over the river, the wingtips just miss touching water as it slowly gains altitude, tucks it long neck against it’s chest and trails it’s legs behind.
Great Blue Herons nest in colonies, called rookeries, by constucting large nests in the tops of trees alongside the river. I’ve also seen them nesting in rock ledges on the sheer walls 100 ft. above the Colorado River.
If you are planning to spend some time on the river this summer keep an eye out for thr the Great Blue Heron, the iconic river bird of Utah.