A little blue  

A little blue

If you want to see a little blue heron in its natural habitat, head to the swamps, tidal flats, and lake marshes of the US Gulf Coast, the Caribbean Islands, and Central America—and bring your patience. These herons keep a low profile, and often sit so still while hunting, they can be hard to spot. The adults develop deep blue plumage, sometimes sporting purple feathers on their heads, and tiptoe around the shoreline on green legs. The chicks are born snowy white, which scientists suggest is a survival adaptation to help them blend in with cattle egrets and snowy egrets—both species with bright white feathers—to enjoy the added safety of being in a large group.

© Sergey Uryadnikov/Alamy

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