Grey Heron ( Ardea cinerea )
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The Grey heron is spread throughout all of Europe, then in Asia except for the northern areas and also all around Africa except for the Sahara and the Horn. It inhibits water areas with reeds. Its nest is basically made of twigs and grass.
Ardea cinerea is 100 cm in size (39 inches). Its body is very slim and therefore rather agile. It has got an orange bill that is very strong. The small oval head is grey with long black plumes. Long neck is whitish with ventral black stripes going down to the chest. Wings are grey and shoulders are black. Its legs are yellow. The males and the females look similar. Their flying seems rather slow and the wing beats are quite noisy.
Herons belong to opportunistic hunters. They feed on fish and other aquatic animals. When hunting they use their long neck, powerful bill and last but not least their patience. They are able to stay motionless in water for long hours just to wait for their prey. During winter when water is frozen they move to river estuaries to find food. They generally nest in colonies and one nest can be used for several generations. The hens have approximately 4 eggs, which are blue.