Great blue herons are one of the most beautiful birds in America. Spotting a regal, statuesque heron is always a treat. The male and female look almost exactly the same. On average, males are a little larger with longer ornamental plumes, but these distinctions are so slight and variable that it’s hard to see the difference, even when members of a pair are together. And pairs are together only when they are on the nest for courtship, taking turns incubating the eggs and all their interactions around raising their young. When they fly off to find food for themselves and their young, they go separately, not together. The great blue heron is the largest heron species in North America, standing about 4 feet tall and have a 6 foot wingspan. But even though they are large birds, they only weight about 5 to 6 pounds, thanks to their light, hollow bones. For such large and lanky birds, herons are speedy, flying as fast as 30 mph. They usually fly with their necks in an S-shape and their legs trailing behind them. One part of the great blue heron that’s not beautiful is its call. The rough squawk has a guttural, almost prehistoric sound to it.