Visit Valparaiso, IN, the Vale of Paradise, to take on the Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt beginning in 2022. Visit Valparaiso to hunt down the clues needed to find all 10 native birds species throughout downtown.
Great Blue Heron
If you’ve been near some water in Indiana, you might have seen this majestic, giant, blue bird. The Great Blue Heron is iconic near water and is often seen hunting for fish. They may look like a blue pillar in the water, not moving a muscle until a fish swims nearby. Then, they strike at lightning speeds!
The Great blue Heron has brilliant blue and gray plumage, and a very long neck. They are often spotted with their neck tucked in, flying across waterways or fields. These birds nest in colonies, most often in trees in Indiana. If you come across their nesting site, better known as a Heron Rookery, you may encounter flocks of over 100 herons! They may be friendly in the nest, but when it comes to feeding grounds, the Great Blue Heron will defend their area aggressively. Even humans have been their target!
Great Blue Herons can be found throughout Indiana. Some stay year round while most will arrive in spring for the summer breeding season and depart again in the fall. While fish is their main food source, they can also eat amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, and even birds. Whatever they can strike at, they will!
Cover Photo: Great Blue Heron by Shari McCollough