Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Pelecaniformes > Ardeidae > Butorides > Butorides virescens

Butorides virescens (Green Heron)

Synonyms: Ardea virescens (homotypic); Ardeola virescens
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The green heron (Butorides virescens) is a small heron of North and Central America. Butorides is from Middle English butor "bittern" and Ancient Greek -oides, "resembling", and virescens is Latin for "greenish. It was long considered conspecific with its sister species the striated heron (Butorides striata), and together they were called "green-backed heron". Birds of the nominate subspecies (no matter which taxonomic arrangement is preferred) are extremely rare vagrants to western Europe; individuals from the Pacific coast of North America may similarly stray as far as Hawaii.
View Wikipedia Record: Butorides virescens


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 15.4091
EDGE Score: 2.79784


Clutch Size [4]  4
Clutches / Year [4]  1
Fledging [2]  23 days
Incubation [4]  20 days
Mating Display [6]  Non-acrobatic aerial display
Maximum Longevity [4]  12 years
Snout to Vent Length [2]  16 inches (40 cm)
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams, Coastal
Adult Weight [2]  197 grams
Birth Weight [4]  16 grams
Female Weight [2]  184 grams
Male Weight [2]  211 grams
Weight Dimorphism [2]  14.7 %
Breeding Habitat [3]  Freshwater marshes
Wintering Geography [3]  Widespread
Wintering Habitat [3]  Wetlands, Coastal saltmarshes
Diet [5]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Ectothermic [5]  30 %
Diet - Fish [5]  40 %
Diet - Invertibrates [5]  30 %
Forages - Ground [5]  20 %
Forages - Water Surface [5]  80 %
Female Maturity [4]  2 years
Male Maturity [4]  2 years


Protected Areas


Important Bird Areas

Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Caribbean lowlands and wetlands Costa Rica A1, A2, A3, A4i

Biodiversity Hotspots

Prey / Diet

Carassius auratus (Goldfish)[7]
Fundulus parvipinnis (California killifish)[8]
Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher)[7]

Prey / Diet Overlap


Corvus brachyrhynchos (American Crow)[7]
Procyon lotor (Raccoon)[7]
Quiscalus quiscula (Common Grackle)[7]


Range Map

External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
3Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
6Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
7Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
8Lafferty, K. D., R. F. Hechinger, J. C. Shaw, K. L. Whitney and A. M. Kuris (in press) Food webs and parasites in a salt marsh ecosystem. In Disease ecology: community structure and pathogen dynamics (eds S. Collinge and C. Ray). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
9Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0