Green Heron, An American Refugee

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A few weeks ago news started spreading about a Green Heron being spotted at Quinta do Lago. The Green Heron is commonly seen in wetlands of North and Central America but is not a species found in Europe except for very rare vagrants. It is believed to have been brought here during the storms, particularly Hurricane Leslie, a few months ago. More photos below.

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Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens

It is a small heron, similarly sized (less than 50cm) and featured to that of a Little Bittern but clearly green. The big difference is a Little Bittern is very shy, this guy doesn’t seem bothered by human presence. Due to the brown and white chest patches, this looks like a juvenile which makes it difficult to determine the sex. Amazingly, another Green Heron has been spotted in Aroeira which is a little south of Lisbon!

Yesterday, the weather forecast was showing perfect for a day of waiting. Although spotted almost as soon as I arrived, it wasn’t coming out into a clear view. It took about 3 hours of waiting until it was in a clear spot. Here are the photos from the day;

Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens

Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens

Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens

Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens

Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens

Green Heron - Garçote-verde - Butorides virescens


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