GREY HERON

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea)
Grey herons stand at around 3 feet tall, and have long slender legs ideal for wading in shallow waters where they catch their food, mainly fish, by spearing them with their long bill. This heron is well adapted to life in the city, where they inhabit ponds and their small islands if any. Like its cousin the Great blue heron, the grey heron will establish a colony called a ‘heronry’, which consists of a group of several nests atop mature trees, as can be seen below. Young herons, until they can fly, are very vulnerable to disturbances and, if they fall off the nest during that period, the parents will no longer feed them and they will starve to death, or they may get killed during their fall or eaten by predators on the ground.

NAME: The name ‘Heron’ has a complicated origin and evolved from an ancient Greek word meaning ‘to creak or screech’ (in reference to that bird’s call).

The Grey heron is common in many parts of the world, and is a year-round resident in Japan.

Grey heron on the Kamo River. Kyoto
Grey heron on the Kamo River. Kyoto
Grey heron with its neck retracted, near a pond in Kyoto.
Grey heron with its neck retracted, near a pond in Kyoto.
A grey heron breeding colony in Tokushima Central Park, Shikoku Island, Japan. Note the large twig nest on the left.
A grey heron breeding colony in Tokushima Central Park, Shikoku Island, Japan. Note the large twig nest on the left.
Grey heron wading in the Kamo river in Kyoto. Its shallow waters are perfect for herons.
Grey heron wading in the Kamo river in Kyoto. Its shallow waters are perfect for herons.
 grey heron resting on one leg near a pond. Kyoto

grey heron resting on one leg near a pond. Kyoto
The Grey heron is in the background, with a Saddle-billed stork in the foreground. Tanzania, Jan. 2018
The Grey heron is in the background, with a Saddle-billed stork in the foreground. Tanzania, Jan. 2018
Grey heron wading in a pond in Kyoto.
Grey heron wading in a pond in Kyoto.
This pond islet in the background is a hangout for grey herons. Kyoto.
This pond islet in the background is a hangout for grey herons. Kyoto.
It is a strange sight to have these tall 'water' birds in colonies perched at the top of large mature trees. Tokushima Central Park.
It is a strange sight to have these tall ‘water’ birds in colonies perched at the top of large mature trees. Tokushima Central Park.

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