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Can You Pet a Great Blue Heron

  • Pet Care


The Great Blue Heron is a majestic, large wading bird native to North America. It is tall and slender, with a long, curved neck and long legs. Its vibrant plumage is a vivid, iridescent blue, with white stripes and accents. The Great Blue Heron’s wingspan can reach as wide as seven feet, making them an impressive presence in most areas. Although they are generally solitary creatures, they can occasionally be found in small groups.

Great Blue Heron as a pet

Difficulty of Petting a Great Blue Heron

Many people assume that because a Great Blue Heron is majestic and beautiful, it would make a great pet. However, petting a wild bird of this size is not a realistic option. Great Blue Herons are wild creatures, and are not meant to be kept in captivity. There are no guidelines when it comes to caring for wild herons, as they require different habitats and diets than those of a pet bird.

Aside from the difficulty of providing adequate care and space for a Great Blue Heron, there are safety considerations to consider. Great Blue Herons have long, powerful beaks and talons which are used for foraging and defense. This makes them potentially dangerous to handle, and difficult to keep as pets.

Alternative to Petting

If you wish to enjoy the company of a Great Blue Heron, but would rather not keep one as a pet, there are other ways you can do so. Birdwatching can be a great way to observe and appreciate these birds in their natural habitat without disturbing them.

You can also attract Great Blue Herons to your local area by providing the right habitat. Remove any predators or sources of danger, and make the area feel safe to them. Provide an ample food source by adding water plants or shallow bodies of water. Install birdhouses or nesting areas. If you are lucky, the herons will soon be frequenting your area on a regular basis.


It is not advisable to attempt to pet a wild Great Blue Heron. While they are majestic creatures, they are not meant to be kept in captivity or handled by humans. Thankfully, there are other ways to appreciate them, such as bird watching or creating an optimal habitat for them in your local area. With some patience and care, you can soon have a friendly group of Great Blue Herons frequenting your area.

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