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GREY HERON

SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Ardea cinerea
SIZE: 84 – 100 cm

WEIGHT: 1 – 2.1 kgs

This large bird hunts for its prey in both freshwater and saltwater. It waits patiently, standing on one leg in the shallow water, waiting for a fish to come into range. When it does, the Grey Heron quickly strikes, stabbing the fish with its strong, pointy beak!

These powerful beaks also come in handy when other animals are near; Grey Herons will eat small birds, amphibians, and small mammals that live near water. Scientists think Grey Herons are most successful at hunting at night, using moonlight to help them find food.

Grey Herons are very easy to spot and recognize. They’re very large, and have very long, yellow legs that they use to wade through water while hunting. They have long necks, which they often hold in the shape of an ”S.” If they catch a large fish or other animal, their necks can stretch out into a long tunnel so the food can be eaten.

As you might be able to guess from their name, Grey Herons have mostly grey feathers. Full-grown Grey Herons also have white and black feathers on their heads, but younger ones don’t. Adult herons have yellowish bills. The largest heron in Europe, The Grey Heron can be over a yard long, and their wings are usually about five to six feet from tip to tip.

Like other herons, Grey Herons are also easy to recognize when they’re flying, because they hold their long legs stretched out straight behind them. They also tuck in their heads toward their bodies. Once you’ve seen one flying, it’s easy to spot them!