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Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)



Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Class: Aves
Family: Ardeidae
Common Name: Gray Heron
Genus: Ardea
Species Name: cinerea

About The Gray Heron

Grey herons feed on a wide range of prey items but are primarily piscivores. In addition to fish (Class Actinopterygii), their diet consists of insects (Class Insecta), crustaceans (Subphylum Crustacea), frogs (Class Amphibia) and small mammals. They sometimes even ingest tiny birds. Recent studies have documented grey herons attempting to prey upon and consume white-throated rails (Dryomnas cuvieri aldabranus). This is the largest bird species upon which grey herons attempt to prey. While it is not clear how often grey herons succeed in feeding on rails, injuries have been noted after feeding attempts.

To locate food, grey herons wade through shallow water or move on land. They are thought to be most successful in capturing prey in the moonlight. Usually these herons stand still and wait for prey to approach in the water. They capture prey with their bills and generally swallow it whole, in one swift gulping action. Like other herons (Ardea species), grey herons in deeper water typically stand still on one foot and wait, sometimes for extended periods of time, for potential prey to swim near.

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; amphibians; reptiles; fish; insects

Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore )



Rights Holder: The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
Bibliographic Citation: Bower, J. and D. Rabago 2012. "Ardea cinerea" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at Citation Link

Trips Where Observed

Africa: Eastern and Southern
Africa: Egypt and Ethiopia
Around The World in 66 Days
China Solar Eclipse
India
Indonesia
Kenya Solar Eclipse
Madagascar
Siberia
Svalbard, Canary Islands, and Spain
Turkey
Uganda and stops between

Member Lifelists

Africa
Asia
Europe
India
Turkey
World

Sites Where Observed

Location
Date
Notes
2/4/2013
Seen from the train.
3/24/2015
3/31/2015
1/1/2017
1/14/2017

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