Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

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The largest European heron. It can stand with neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunch down with its neck bent over its chest. In flight it holds its neck retracted and has large rounded wings. It is usually solitary although several birds may feed fairly close together. It stalks its food, often standing motionless for some considerable time. It usually feeds close to the bank or shore, but may wade out into shallow water.

Where does it live?

Breeds colonially in tall trees near to plentiful fish supplies. Woodland close to inland lakes, gravel pits and marshes, and also near to estuaries and coastal marshes, especially in Scotland. Scarcer in upland areas.
Similar to breeding habitats

Where to see it

Wetland marshes, gravel pits, reservoirs, lakes and rivers and estuaries, Usually seen standing silently at the water's edge, waiting for prey. Will come to gardens with ornamental fish ponds and fish farms.

What does it eat?

Mainly fish

What does it sound like

A loud 'fraank' call

When to see it

All year round.

Similar species