Würdemann’s Heron


(Ardea herodias)

Würdemann’s Heron is the name given to intermediate color morphs that are the result of a mating of a dark (blue) morph Great Blue-Heron with a white morph Great Blue-Heron (Great White Heron).  These intermediate morphs tend to be concentrated in south Florida.

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9 Responses to Würdemann’s Heron

  1. Carl says:

    Absolutely sure I just saw one in the pond behind my house in Olathe, Kansas. (7-3-2016) It had the whitish neck with a rust-brown center neck area. Mostly grey on the back and body. Those lower neck feathers were very spiked and spread out in appearance pointing straight down. Tried to get picture out the back bedroom window, but he or she was very observant and took off without hesitation.

    • john says:

      Even though they are all smaller, check out the other heron species, especially Tricolored Heron and see what you think. Wurdemann’s is the hybrid of the two Great Blue Heron morphs and is pretty much unheard of outside of south Florida.

  2. Jan says:

    I blieve we saw one on our pond in Upton, ma. What would he be doing up here??

  3. Larry A Wurdeman says:

    Does anyone know for which Wurdemann this variety of Great Blue Heron is named?

    • john says:

      The name honors Gustavas Wurdemann, an employee of the U.S. Coast Survey stationed in Florida who researched Florida’s natural world in his spare time. Wurdemann is credited with discovering his namesake bird during his stay here between 1837 and1849. Both the great white and Wurdemann’s were considered separate species at one time but are now classified as subspecies of the great blue.

  4. Stephen Heyse says:

    My wife and I saw what I think may have been a Wurdemann’s Heron at Slaughter Beach, Delaware, on October 26, 2023. It appeared to be taking a nap in the mud at low tide standing on one leg with its head tucked down. We frequently see Great Blue Herons here, sometimes as many as four at a time, so I’m pretty sure it is not one of them. I have a fuzzy picture that I’d like to share but I couldn’t paste it in this comment box.

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