Grey Heron

The Grey Heron belongs to the family of ardeidae, family of birds and qualifies as a wading bird. It has been a native of Asia and European geographies, and some of them are found in huge numbers across the African stretch too. The bird also has a tendency to migrate during the winters from one region to the other, since they can’t stand colder surroundings. The bird can be seen during summers, in the Arctic Circle and also along the Norwegian coasts.
The build of this bird is quite large and a good 90-100 cm of height while it stands tall. The wingspan can also be a mighty 175-195 cms and this can take its weight from above of 1 kg up to a maximum of 2 kilos. The plumage of the bird, as from the name is grey in colour. The below body parts of this aquatic bird is off-white in tone. The head area is the one which differs amongst male and female and the younger ones of the family. Where on one side, the white head and slender crest symbolize a grown up bird, the dull grey headed one is an immature member of the bird family. The tone changes as they grow up. The neck has a beautiful S curve and is quite slender.
The species is quite commonly seen around in huge colonies and moves in groups. They tend to live near lakes and ponds, often wetlands and shores around them for enough of food and breeding habitat. The bird has also architectural capabilities and is famous for its nest which is usually huge and made out of sticks. It preys on fishes & frogs and thus prefers shallow waters or beds of lakes & rivers. The way it waits patiently for its prey to come closer, without any movement is just amazing. Also the bird has a characteristic call which is quite loud in nature. The bill is often pinkish in colour with yellowish tones added to it and gets on to become even brighter with breeding adults. The flight of this bird is quite slow in speed, though they can fly for longer distances too on a stretch. The way the herons have a curve in their neck, is what distinguishes them from those of storks, and spoonbills. Also the eating habits can change as per the availability of food, since the heron can also consume the left over and thrown out food by humans. Often at zoos, the birds can munch on the eatables thrown towards them by the onlookers.
The bird has a closer relation with one of its similar appearing birds, the American great Blue heron. The blue heron has a slightly larger size in comparison and can also be identified with its blue tone, which is quite apparent in comparison to that of a grey heron. The bird also has a lot of similarity with the Australian white faced heron, which has almost all the similar features, making it confusing at times to differentiate between the two.
Grey heron has its four different subspecies, which are spread across the stretches of Europe, Africa, western Asia, eastern Asia and Madagascar.

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