Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) and Great Egrets (Casmerodius albus) partitioned feeding habitat based on wetland size at Peltier Lake rookery in cast central Minnesota. Great Blue Herons preferred large water-bodies ( greater than or equal to350 ha), whereas Great Egrets fed most often at small ponds (<25 ha). Forty-nine percent of Great Blue Herons used wetlands 301 - 400 hectares in size and 83% of Great Egrets fed in wetlands <100 ha in size. Great Blue Herons selected large wetlands more often than expected both at the regional (30-km radius) and local (4-km radius) scales. Habitat use by Great Egrets was in proportion to availability at the regional scale, but they selected smaller wetlands for feeding more often than expected at a local scale. The median flight distance of Great Blue Herons was 2.7 km, similar to distances reported elsewhere. Great Egrets flew farther to feeding sites than Great Blue Herons, and flew farther (median = 13.5 km) than reported in other geographic areas. Received 22 September 2001, accepted 5 November 2001.
Additional publication details
Feeding habitat selection by great blue herons and great egrets nesting in east central Minnesota