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Grey heron


Common name Grey heron
Scientific name Ardea cinerea
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Large wader (approx 102 cm or 3.5 ft) with an also large wingspan (approx 175 cm or 5.5 ft). Stylized silhouette and long neck. Greyish plumage in general. White head in adults with black forelock and long, black feathers like a plume. Light neck with dark lines. Ashen back and dark spot on the shoulders. Lighter belly. Long, sharp, yellow bill. Yellow legs. Silhouette in flight with neck folded in the shape of an "s" and stretched legs.


Wetlands, River and Riverside

Where it lives

All types of wetlands with salty or fresh water in winter. In the breeding season it needs wetlands with nearby tree vegetation. Reservoirs, lagoons, ditches and irrigation ponds, stream banks, coast line.

How it lives

Species present in the province all year round, both as a wintering one and in the breeding period. There are also specimens in migratory passage. Gregarious during the reproductive season and lonelier during the rest of the year. Nest in trees or groves of riparian vegetation. One laying of 2 to 5 eggs. The Grey Heron feeds on fish, micromammals, small reptiles, including snakes, amphibians and insects. It shows a very calm behaviour when foraging. This bird explores the water while being very still, waiting for a prey to appear. Once sighted, it shoots the bill as if it were a harpoon.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Present in all Malaga wetlands, lagoons, reservoirs and low and middle sections of coastal rivers. It can also be watched in waste plants and beaches.

Curious facts

For its elegant appearance and slow and calm flight herons awaken curiosity and intrigue in many people. One of the most curious things about these birds is their ability to remain quiet for hours perched on one leg. They can remain this way and with the neck shrunk, only showing the head and the bill between the wings, a lot of time if they are not bothered.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration