Great Blue Heron


A new and unexpected yard bird! I know this is not an unusual species for our area, but I saw one in a surprising location. Today at about 1:00 PM I clearly saw a GBH standing completely exposed in the middle of a 65 acre grassy hillside in Block 575:195. The location was between Taylor Blvd. and Reliez Valley Road, near Withers. The location is dry in all years, and especially so now. There is no pond, canal, lake or wetland for several miles in any direction, possibly some very small streams. I have lived here for 26 years and this is a first. I do note on eBird that an observation was reported nearby on Grayson Road one year and a day ago. The Breeding Bird Atlas of Contra Costa County says "Water isn't even a prerequisite as the species is often seen stalking dry pastures and agricultural fields in search of small mammals." This hillside is a favorite of the Red-tailed Hawk. Perhaps the GHB is muscling in on their territory.

Bill Espey

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