Backyard Bird Feeding: A Green Heron

A Surprise Bird on My Hummingbird Feeder

Rob Ripma

Since it’s still cold and snowy here in central Indiana and I’m getting quite tired of this winter weather, I’ve decided to revisit a warmer memory from the summer. This past August, when it was extremely hot outside and we were all dreaming of cooler temps, my wife found quite an awesome bird in our yard! She opened up the curtains in our kitchen one morning to find this looking back at her.


Green Heron Backyard Bird Feeding

This is what my wife found when she first looked out the window that morning!


She quickly yelled (nicely, she says) for me to come downstairs to see what she had found! Once I got my fill of watching this Green Heron from our kitchen, I grabbed my camera and headed outside to get some better shots. It was a great opportunity to do some bird photography in my own yard. I sneaked around my house and stood near the fence that surrounds our backyard. Surprisingly, the heron didn’t even notice that I was there!


Green Heron Backyard Bird Feeding

Once I was around the side of my house where I could get better photos, the Green Heron started preening.

Green Heron Backyard Bird Feeding

The heron’s preening was interrupted by a Ruby-throated Hummingbird that was not impressed by this huge bird near his feeders! I didn’t capture the hummingbird in this photo but it is what the heron is looking at.

After taking a bunch of photos of the heron on my pole system, I noticed there was actually a second bird on the fence and turned my attention to photographing that individual. I was outside for about 30 minutes watching these birds before the one on the fence decided it was time to chase the other bird off and they both took off across the pond in our backyard.


Green Heron Backyard Bird Feeding

This is the second Green Heron that was just sitting on my fence watching me as I photographed the other individual!

You just never know what wonderful things you will see when you participate in backyard bird feeding!

  1. Marie says

    We had green herons build a nest in a birch tree near our back deck and raise six chicks a few years ago. What a great summer that was! Another couple built a nest last summer (flimsy and far out on the branch) but a strong wind knocked the eggs out so they abandoned it. We keep hoping they will build another successful nest. We live in VT and there is a river nearby. They never went near my two birdfeeders.

  2. Mary Rieger says

    5 years ago, while living in a subdivision outside St. Louis, MO, a green heron and her baby graced our backyard for 3 days! I took a picture and sent it to corneal University’ s Ornithology dept. I got my answer along with a surprised statement! My belief, birds know who are the “good” people!

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