Leading a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.


Great Blue Heron

Seattle's Official City Bird

Often seen standing motionless at the edge of a wetland pond or the coastal shore, the Great Blue Heron is one of the best known and easily recognized birds in Washington State. In flight, the Great Blue Heron's large size, broad wings, and bent neck make it almost unmistakable.

In March 2003, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution brought forth by Seattle Audubon and Council President Peter Steinbrueck that established the Great Blue Heron as the Official City Bird of Seattle. For more information on the distribution, life history, and the general conservation status of the Great Blue Heron, Visit BirdWeb - Seattle Audubon's online guide to the birds of Washington.

Great Blue Herons are an Incredibly Interesting and Unique Species

Did you know that Great Blue Herons have the ability to swallow a fish many times wider than its very narrow neck? Or that young Great Blue Herons are born with their eyes open and vibrate their elastic throat membranes to cool themselves? Great Blue Herons are an incredible species to watch and learn about their unique characteristics. Read the facts about Great Blue Herons.

Where to See Herons in the Area

Great Blue Herons can be seen throughout the country and throughout the Puget Sound region. From Kiwanis Ravine in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle to the birder's paradise of Spencer Island near Everett to the region's largest colony in the Black River Riparian area, opportunities abound locally to witness and observe these exquisite birds. Find out where to see Great Blue Herons.


Interested in Finding Out More Detail About Great Blue Herons?

Seattle Audubon has composed an extensive list of other websites and research bodies that are dedicated to Great Blue Herons. To learn more about this magnificent species, please see our list of other resources.

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Great Blue Heron Monitoring Program

Read the complete interview with Marian Bailey, lead biologist.


Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright Seattle Audubon.