Green Heron

Green Heron by David J. L'Hoste
© David J. L'Hoste
Butorides virescens
This small, greenish-backed heron with its chestnut-colored neck and orange legs and feet is well known to nearly every sportsman and schoolboy of the state, although generally by one of its more colloquial names, such as “kop-kop, shipoke,” or “fly-up-the-creek.” In the air it somewhat resembles a crow, but its wings have a moer arched form in flight, and, of course, its body shape is radically different. Its call is an explosive kop-kop, or a sky-ow, sky-ow.
The Green Heron sometimes nests in small colonies, in a slough or over a small pond, but frequently single pairs are found. It is rare in Louisiana after mid-November, even in the coastal marshes, but by the third week of March it can be found again throughout the state. It is one of the four members of the Heron family that migrate in significant numbers directly across the Gulf of Mexico, instead of around it. The species is frequently seen in spring over the open Gulf and in the act of arriving on our shores.
--George H. Lowery, Jr., 1974, Louisiana Birds

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