Great Blue Heron
Gray-blue and white in color, you can see these majestic birds flying overhead or wading statuesquely in the reeds, patiently waiting to catch a fish. Listen for their prehistoric sounding cackle-like call. With long necks and large bodies, they have a wingspan of 5.5 to 6.5 ft.
With gray and tan plumage, these large birds can have a wingspan of more than 5 ft. They mate for life and are often seen in pairs. Sandhill cranes like shallow waters in marshy areas. Keep an eye out for the red spot on top of their heads.
These majestic birds of pray can often be seen soaring high above the river, perched in a tree, or swooping down to catch a fish. Its white head and tail feathers contrast its dark brown body and broad wings, spanning 6 to 7.5 ft. Listen for its high pitched screech.
Expert fishers that can be seen diving deep in the water retrieving all sizes of prey. When perched on floating logs they often hold their wings open for extended periods, soaking up the heat of the sun and drying their wings.
Among some of the worlds largest waterfowl, these giant birds are plentiful throughout the region. They can be seen guarding nests in the reeds or cruising around the water in pairs or in large groups. Listen for the strange sound of their wings as they fly through the air.
Medium sized, semi aquatic rodent who builds hut type houses on the water. Similar to its cousin the beaver, but smaller and has a long skinny tail.
Both Painted Turtles and Red-Eared Sliders are common in the Grand River. The best way to distinguish between the two is to look for the red ear on the Slider. Keep an eye out for sunbathing turtles hanging out on logs in the water. You may even stumble upon a whole group.