Celebrate Earth Day With…

Goliath Heron, Botswana

Goliath Heron, Botswana

…the biggest heron on earth.  At 4-5 feet tall and sporting a wingspan of over 7 feet, it is aptly named:  Goliath Heron.


Primarily found in sub-Saharan Africa, this wading bird is usually found alone in lakes, swamps, and wetlands.  There are small populations of Ardea goliath in parts of Asia too.


Their diet consists mostly of fish, typically 2-3 big fish a day; but they will also eat frogs, lizards, snakes, and other small reptiles and fish.  Due to their large size they are sometimes slower than many birds, rendering them vulnerable to kleptoparasitism (stolen food).  Predators however (like hyenas and jackals), cannot easily prey on them because they have height perspective and can take flight unharmed.


Goliath Heron, Botswana

Goliath Heron, Botswana

Many of us bird and wildlife lovers enjoy observing and photographing herons all over the world.  Their deliberate hunting is a joy to behold, their peaceful ways and sleek beauty, pleasing and attractive.  Fortunately most of us consider every day Earth Day.  Cheers….


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander




56 thoughts on “Celebrate Earth Day With…

    • I am glad you can see how big they are. Often they are standing deep in water by themselves without anyone around for perspective, but this photo might have helped with a nearby cormorant. I Have admired many of your wading bird photos, Ingrid, glad to reciprocate. 😀

    • They sure command your attention when you are lucky to come across one. I have only seen about four of these, but oh what fun when it happens. Thanks for stopping by today, dear Bill — nice to “chat.”

  1. I hadn’t realized a heron could be so tall.They must be wonderful to see close up, so elegant. I think we have smaller ones which fly over here sometimes but have never seen where they land and no idea where they live. Thanks for the info you give here.<3

    • In all those lovely open fields and meadows I see in your photos, I wonder if there is a pond, lake or stream? That is where you would find the herons. A delight, as always, to hear from you Gill. 😀

      • There is a meandering river lower down where it is fairly shallow and slow and at one point it floods. Its very hard to get to but I believe they are there. They nest somewhere in the opposite direction though and sometimes are seen flying over our house back home! Probably the frogs in the various ponds attract them on the way. I really will have to go and look now !

  2. Big your post and the Goliath Heron to celebrate Earth Day’s 45th anniversary,dear Jet!
    Lovely bird,both photos are gorgeous,the one on the wing is absolutely fascinating!I wish every single
    person on our beautiful planet could consider every day Earth Day!Cheers my friend! 🙂 xxx

    • Well I must admit there is a certain element of intimidation while boating through the high weeds and wetlands on this Botswana Delta. lol. But oh what beautiful creatures we found here. Really fun to share these adventures with you, dear Nan. 🙂 🙂

    • Yes, I think all herons are wonderful, but this goliath is a true joy to be near. Very glad you enjoyed today’s post, Inger. And my best to you, oh intrepid mountain hiker and wilderness lover, for a Happy Earth Day! 😀

    • Athena thanks you Frank. She was happy about this sighting because other times the goliath was farther into the water with no creatures nearby to demonstrate the size perspective. She was lucky on this shot for the nearby water bank and cormorant, as well as his decision to take flight. Many thanks! 😀

    • Is is always fun to see all the many different sizes of creatures in our midst, isn’t it Tiny? Very glad to have your visits and comments, I hope you come back! 😀

  3. Oh it is a really big heron, but probably as funny as our European species. I love these birds, the manner they strike their prey and fly. I even love their voice 🙂 Glad they have such a majestic cousin!

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