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Gray Heron

About Gray Heron

The Gray Heron is a tall, long necked, long legged wading bird with long, sharp, heavy bill. Gary with white head and neck; black streaks on neck; black eyestripe extending into black feathers at nape. The wings are black underneath. The bill and bare skin on face are yellow-green. Has yellow-brown legs.

Breeds in colonies of up to 1,000 birds in the trees, bushes, or on cliffs up to 80 feet above the ground. Their nests are large and made with sticks. They have 3-5 bluish-green eggs; both parents take care of them for 24-25 days.

The Gray Heron is a widespread and common wading bird. It is patient and will wait at the edge of the water until its prey comes along. It favors shallow waters of lakes, rivers, where it usually hunts along for fish, frogs, and other animals. It can stand motionless for long periods of time. When it senses a meal, it typically tilts forward and extends it head, and walks through the water with slow, deliberate movements before stabbing down with its long dagger bill. It will catch large eels and flatfish. Sometimes it catches a fish so large is has a hard time swallowing it.

Despite its size, it moves with great agility around the treetop nesting colonies.