location: Maryland's Eastern Shore
best viewing hours: Daylight Hours
time zone: Eastern Standard Time
The Great Blue Heron Cam gives you an up close and personal look at the daily lives of an iconic species of Chesapeake Bay. Look inside a great blue heron rookery, or colony, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This rookery is home to between as many as 50 herons on 10-12 nests, and built 100 feet off the ground in loblolly pine trees. The featured couple Rell & Eddie are named after the surfers Rell Sunn and Eddie Aikau.
These tall, bluish-gray wading birds have long, pointed bills and graceful, S-shaped necks. They live year-round in marshes and wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay region and are also found on freshwater lakes, ponds and impoundments. Great blue herons can grow to 4 feet tall with a 6 to 7 foot wingspan. Despite their large size, hollow bones allow them to weigh only 5 to 6 pounds. They eats mostly fish, but will also feed on insects, amphibians, crustaceans and other small animals. They silently stalks their prey in shallow waters, and then plunge their bills into the water to capture their meal. They spend about 90 percent of their waking hours hunting for food.
Great blue herons select new mates every year, laying 2-7 eggs. These eggs are then incubated approximately 28 days until hatching. The young are then fed for around 60 days in the nest by both parents. Once the chicks are able to fly they leave the nest, however they still rely on their parents for food for a few more weeks until they can properly hunt on their own.
This cam is brought to you through our partnership with Chesapeake Conservancy, an organization working to ensure these wading birds continue to thrive by protecting river corridors so that the Chesapeake Bay can support abundant fish populations.
This live cam comes to you via explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and division of the Annenberg Foundation. It is part of a collection of more than a hundred HD cams around the world established by Charles Annenberg to help people connect with nature and fall in love with the world again. To see more live cams visit, explore.org.