Great Blue Heron
The largest heron in North America is often seen poised ready to strike prey in shallow water. When in flight, its head is pulled back to its shoulder with large wings beating slowly. It is grayish-blue and has a black crown with plume and orangish-yellow bill.
Kristine Rivers puts it this way:
“No trip to Galveston would be complete without seeing the stately Great Blue Heron, impressive in size alone at 4½ feet tall. Adapting to a wide variety of habitats from freshwater or saltwater wetlands to dry fields, this species is an opportunistic feeder. Unlike Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons move very slowly and stealthily as they hunt, before suddenly lunging forward with their dagger-like bills to capture everything from fish to crustaceans to rodents. This behavior provides many great photo opportunities as they strike a new pose with each slow step forward.”