Grey heron

The grey heron (Ardea cinerea) is a long-legged predatory wading bird of the heron family, Ardeidae, native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but some populations from the more northern parts migrate southwards in autumn. A bird of wetland areas, it can be seen around lakes, rivers, ponds, marshes and on the sea coast. It feeds mostly on aquatic creatures which it catches after standing stationary beside or in the water or stalking its prey through the shallows.

Standing up to 1 m tall, adults weigh from 1 to 2 kg (2.2 to 4.4 lb). They have a white head and neck with a broad black stripe that extends from the eye to the black crest. The body and wings are grey above and the underparts are greyish-white, with some black on the flanks. The long, sharply pointed beak is pinkish-yellow and the legs are brown.

The birds breed colonially in spring in "heronries", usually building their nests high in trees. A clutch of usually three to five bluish-green eggs is laid. Both birds incubate the eggs for around 25 days, and then both feed the chicks, which fledge when 7-8 weeks old. Many juveniles do not survive their first winter, but if they do, they can expect to live for about 5 years.

In Ancient Egypt, the deity Bennu was depicted as a heron in New Kingdom artwork. In Ancient Rome, the heron was a bird of divination. Roast heron was once a specially prized dish; when George Neville became Archbishop of York in 1465, 400 herons were served to the guests.

Grey heron
Graureiher Grey Heron
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
A. cinerea
Binomial name
Ardea cinerea
Ardea cinerea map
Range of A. cinerea      Breeding range     Year-round range     Wintering range


GreyHeron3 MJF
Head, with neck retracted

The grey heron is a large bird, standing up to 100 cm (39 in) tall and measuring 84–102 cm (33–40 in) long with a 155–195 cm (61–77 in) wingspan.[2] The body weight can range from 1.02–2.08 kg (2.2–4.6 lb).[3] The plumage is largely ashy-grey above, and greyish-white below with some black on the flanks. Adults have the head and neck white with a broad black supercilium that terminates in the slender, dangling crest, and bluish-black streaks on the front of the neck. The scapular feathers are elongated and the feathers at the base of the neck are also somewhat elongated. Immature birds lack the dark stripe on the head and are generally duller in appearance than adults, with a grey head and neck, and a small, dark grey crest. The pinkish-yellow beak is long, straight and powerful, and is brighter in colour in breeding adults. The iris is yellow and the legs are brown and very long.[4]

The main call is a loud croaking "fraaank", but a variety of guttural and raucous noises is heard at the breeding colony. The male uses an advertisement call to encourage a female to join him at the nest, and both sexes use various greeting calls after a pair bond has been established. A loud, harsh "schaah" is used by the male in driving other birds from the vicinity of the nest and a soft "gogogo" expresses anxiety, as when a predator is nearby or a human walks past the colony. The chicks utter loud chattering or ticking noises.[4]

Taxonomy and evolution

(video) A grey heron foraging on mudflats

Herons are a fairly ancient lineage and first appeared in the fossil record in the Paleogene period; very few fossil herons have been found, though. By seven million years ago (the late Miocene), birds closely resembling modern forms and attributable to modern genera had appeared.[5]

Herons are members of the family Ardeidae, and the majority of extant species are in the subfamily Ardeinae and known as true or typical herons. This subfamily includes the herons and egrets, the green herons, the pond herons, the night herons, and a few other species. The grey heron belongs in this subfamily and is placed in the genus Ardea, which also includes the cattle egret and the great egret.[5] The grey heron was first described in 1758 by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, who gave it the name Ardea cinerea. The scientific name comes from Latin ardea "heron", and cinerea , "ash-grey" (from cineris ashes).[6]

Four subspecies are recognised:[7]

It is closely related and similar to the North American great blue heron (Ardea herodias), which differs in being larger, and having chestnut-brown flanks and thighs, and to the cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi) from South America with which it forms a superspecies. Some authorities believe that the subspecies A. c. monicae should be considered a separate species.[8] It has been known to hybridise with the great egret (Ardea alba), the little egret (Egretta garzetta), the great blue heron and the purple heron (Ardea purpurea).[9] The Australian white-faced heron is often incorrectly called a grey heron.[10] In Ireland, the grey heron is often colloquially called a "crane".[11]

Distribution and habitat

Garza Real (Ardea cinerea) (5593437102) cropped
In flight

The grey heron has an extensive range throughout most of the Palearctic ecozone. The range of the nominate subspecies A. c. cinerea extends to 70° N in Norway and 66°N in Sweden, but otherwise its northerly limit is around 60°N across the rest of Europe and Asia eastwards as far as the Ural Mountains. To the south, its range extends to northern Spain, France, central Italy, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iraq, Iran, India, and Myanmar (Burma). It is also present in Africa south of the Sahara Desert, the Canary Islands, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and many of the Mediterranean Islands. It is replaced by A. c. jouyi in eastern Siberia, Mongolia, eastern China, Hainan, Japan, and Taiwan. In Madagascar and the Aldabra Islands, the subspecies A. c. firasa is found, while the subspecies A. c. monicae is restricted to Mauritania and offshore islands.[4]

Over much of its range, the grey heron is resident, but birds from the more northerly parts of Europe migrate southwards, some remaining in Central and Southern Europe, others travelling on to Africa south of the Sahara Desert.[4]

Within its range, the grey heron can be found anywhere with suitable watery habitat that can supply its food. The water body needs to be either shallow enough, or have a shelving margin in it, which it can wade. Although most common in the lowlands, it also occurs in mountain tarns, lakes, reservoirs, large and small rivers, marshes, ponds, ditches, flooded areas, coastal lagoons, estuaries, and the sea shore. It sometimes forages away from water in pasture, and it has been recorded in desert areas, hunting for beetles and lizards. Breeding colonies are usually near feeding areas, but exceptionally may be up to 8 km (5 mi) away, and birds sometimes forage as much as 20 km (12 mi) from the nesting site.[4]


The grey heron has a slow flight, with its long neck retracted (S-shaped). This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes, and spoonbills, which extend their necks.[4] It flies with slow wing-beats and sometimes glides for short distances. It sometimes soars, circling to considerable heights, but not as often as the stork. In spring, and occasionally in autumn, birds may soar high above the heronry and chase each other, undertake aerial manoeuvres or swoop down towards the ground. The birds often perch in trees, but spend much time on the ground, striding about or standing still for long periods with an upright stance, often on a single leg.[4]

Diet and feeding

Grey Heron, Leighton Moss
Swallowing an eel

Fish, amphibians, small mammals, and insects are taken in shallow water with the heron's long bill. It has also been observed catching and killing juvenile birds such as ducklings, and occasionally takes birds up to the size of a water rail.[12] It may stand motionless in the shallows, or on a rock or sandbank beside the water, waiting for prey to come within striking distance. Alternatively, it moves slowly and stealthily through the water with its body less upright than when at rest and its neck curved in an "S". It is able to straighten its neck and strike with its bill very fast.[4]

Small fish are swallowed head first, and larger prey and eels are carried to the shore where they are subdued by being beaten on the ground or stabbed by the bill. They are then swallowed, or have hunks of flesh torn off. For prey such as small mammals and birds or ducklings, the prey is held by the neck and either drowned, suffocated, or killed by having its neck snapped with the heron's beak, before being swallowed whole. The bird regurgitates pellets of indigestible material such as fur, bones and the chitinous remains of insects. The main periods of hunting are around dawn and dusk, but it is also active at other times of day. At night it roosts in trees or on cliffs, where it tends to be gregarious.[4]


Ardea cinerea 0144 (26380369151)
Grey heron flying with nesting material in Stockholm, Sweden
Ardea cinerea EM1B6310 (32537479024)
Grey heron standing on nest in Stockholm, Sweden
Ardea cinerea EM1B2923 (35309122776)
Heron nest with adult feeding juveniles in Stockholm, Sweden
Heronry in Stuttgart, Germany

This species breeds in colonies known as heronries, usually in high trees close to lakes, the seashore, or other wetlands. Other sites are sometimes chosen, and these include low trees and bushes, bramble patches, reed beds, heather clumps and cliff ledges. The same nest is used year after year until blown down; it starts as a small platform of sticks but expands into a bulky nest as more material is added in subsequent years. It may be lined with smaller twigs, strands of root or dead grasses, and in reed beds, it is built from dead reeds. The male usually collects the material, while the female constructs the nest. Breeding activities take place between February and June. When a bird arrives at the nest, a greeting ceremony occurs in which each partner raises and lowers its wings and plumes.[11] In continental Europe, and elsewhere, nesting colonies sometimes include nests of the purple heron and other heron species.[4]

Ardea cinerea building nest
Building nest

Courtship involves the male calling from his chosen nesting site. On the arrival of the female, both birds participate in a stretching ceremony, in which each bird extends its neck vertically before bringing it backwards and downwards with the bill remaining vertical, simultaneously flexing its legs, before returning to its normal stance. The snapping ceremony is another behaviour where the neck is extended forward, the head is lowered to the level of the feet, and the mandibles are vigorously snapped together. This may be repeated 20-40 times. When the pairing is settled, the birds may caress each other by attending to the other bird's plumage. The male may then offer the female a stick, which she incorporates into the nest. At this, the male becomes excited, further preening the female and copulation takes place.[4]

Ardea cinerea MWNH 1927
Eggs, collection Museum Wiesbaden

The clutch of eggs usually numbers three to five, though as few as two and as many as seven eggs have been recorded. The eggs have a matt surface and are greenish-blue, averaging 60 mm × 43 mm (2.36 in × 1.69 in). The eggs are normally laid at two-day intervals and incubation usually starts after the first or second egg has been laid. Both birds take part in incubation and the period lasts about 25 days. Both parents bring food for the young. At first, the chicks seize the adult's bill from the side and extract regurgitated food from it. Later, the adult disgorges the food at the nest and the chicks squabble for possession. They fledge at 7-8 weeks. Usually, a single brood is raised each year, but two broods have been recorded.[4]

The oldest recorded bird lived for 23 years, but the average life expectancy in the wild is about 5 years. Only about a third of juveniles survive into their second year, many falling victim to predation.[11]

City life

Spheniscus humboldti -Birdworld, Farnham, Surrey, England -zoo keeper-8a
Seeking food from a zoo penguin enclosure

Grey herons have the ability to live in cities where habitats and nesting space are available. In the Netherlands, it has established itself over the past decades in great numbers in urban environments. In cities such as Amsterdam, they are ever present and well adapted to modern city life.[13] They hunt as usual, but also visit street markets and snackbars. Some individuals make use of people feeding them at their homes or share the catch of recreational fishermen. Similar behaviour on a smaller scale has been reported in Ireland.[14] Garden ponds stocked with ornamental fish are attractive to herons, and may provide young birds with a learning opportunity on how to catch easy prey.[15]

Herons have been observed visiting water enclosures in zoos, such as spaces for penguins, otters, pelicans, and seals, and taking food meant for the animals on display.[16][17][18][19]

Predators and parasites

Being large birds with powerful beaks, grey herons have few predators as adults, but the eggs and young are more vulnerable. The adult birds do not usually leave the nest unattended, but may be lured away by marauding crows or kites.[20] A dead grey heron found in the Pyrenees is thought to have been killed by an otter. The bird may have been weakened by harsh winter weather causing scarcity of its prey.[21]

A study suggested that Central European grey herons host 29 species of parasitic worms. The dominant species consisted of Apharyngostrigea cornu (67% prevalence), Posthodiplostomum cuticola (41% prevalence), Echinochasmus beleocephalus (39% prevalence), Uroproctepisthmium bursicola (36% prevalence), Neogryporhynchus cheilancristrotus (31% prevalence), Desmidocercella numidica (29% prevalence), and Bilharziella polonica (5% prevalence). Juvenile grey herons were shown to host fewer species, but the intensity of infection was higher in the juveniles than in the adult herons. Of the digenean flatworms found in Central European grey herons, 52% of the species likely infected their definitive hosts outside Central Europe itself, in the premigratory, migratory, or wintering quarters, despite the fact that a substantial proportion of grey herons does not migrate to the south.[22]

In human culture

Heron woodcut Bewick's British Birds 1847
"The Heron. Common Heron, Heronsewgh, or Heronshaw. (Ardea cinerea, Lath.—Héron cendré, Temm.)" wood engraving by Thomas Bewick in his History of British Birds, volume 2, 1804

In Ancient Egypt, the bird deity Bennu, associated with the sun, creation, and rebirth, was depicted as a heron in New Kingdom artwork.[23]

In Ancient Rome, the heron was a bird of divination that gave an augury (sign of a coming event) by its call, like the raven, stork, and owl.[24]

Roast heron was once a specially prized dish in Britain for special occasions such as state banquets. For the appointment of George Neville as Archbishop of York in 1465, 400 herons were served to the guests. Young birds were still being shot and eaten in Romney Marsh in 1896. Two grey herons feature in a stained-glass window of the church in Selborne, Hampshire.[25]

The English surnames Earnshaw, Hernshaw, Herne, and Heron all derive from the heron, the suffix -shaw meaning a wood, referring to a place where herons nested.[26]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Ardea cinerea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T22696993A40287322. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T22696993A40287322.en. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Grey heron (Ardea cinerea)". ARKive. Archived from the original on 2012-01-27. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  3. ^ Dunning Jr., John B., ed. (1992). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Witherby, H. F., ed. (1943). Handbook of British Birds, Volume 3: Hawks to Ducks. H. F. and G. Witherby Ltd. pp. 125–133.
  5. ^ a b "Heron Taxonomy and Evolution". Heron Conservation. IUCN Heron Specialist Group. 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  6. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 54, 107. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  7. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D., eds. (2017). "IOC World Bird List (v 7.2)". doi:10.14344/IOC.ML.7.2. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  8. ^ Martínez-Vilalta, A.; Motis, A.; Kirwan, G.M. (2014). "Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  9. ^ "Grey Heron: Ardea cinerea Linnaeus, 1758". Avibase. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  10. ^ Pizzey, Graham; Knight, Frank (1997). Field Guide to the Birds of Australia. Sydney, Australia: HarperCollinsPublishers. p. 111. ISBN 0-207-18013-X.
  11. ^ a b c "Grey herons". AvianWeb. Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  12. ^ Pistorius, P.A. (2008). "Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) predation on the Aldabra White-throated Rail (Dryolimnas cuvieri aldabranus)". Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 120 (3): 631–632. doi:10.1676/07-101.1.
  13. ^ Hrudova, Julie. "The urban herons of Amsterdam". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  14. ^ The heron's city life is documented in the Dutch documentary Schoffies (Hoodlums) Archived 2017-01-19 at the Wayback Machine, shot in Amsterdam.
  15. ^ "Herons and garden fish ponds". RSPB. 3 June 2004. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Graureiher". Tiergarten Schoenbrunn. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  17. ^ Taylor, Rosie. "Oi, hands off our fish! Cheeky heron flies in as penguins enjoy new Olympic diving pool". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Birdworld Animals". Birdworld. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  19. ^ Mallison, Heinrich. "Interspecific prey theft in extant theropod dinosaurs – Ardea vs. Spheniscus". Dinosaur Paleo. Humboldt University Berlin. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  20. ^ Kwong Wai Chong (5 January 2011). "Nesting grey herons: predation". Bird Ecology Study Group. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  21. ^ Ruiz-Olmo, Jordi; Marsol, Rosa (2002). "New Information on the Predation of Fish Eating Birds by the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra)". IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin. 19 (2): 103–106.
  22. ^ Sitko, J.; Heneberg, P. (2015). "Composition, structure and pattern of helminth assemblages associated with central European herons (Ardeidae)". Parasitology International. 64: 100–112. doi:10.1016/j.parint.2014.10.009.
  23. ^ Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-500-05120-7.
  24. ^ Jonson, Ben; Orgel, Stephen (1969). The Complete Masques. Yale University Press. p. 553. ISBN 978-0-300-10538-4.
  25. ^ Cocker, Mark; Mabey, Richard (2005). Birds Britannica. Chatto & Windus. pp. 51–56. ISBN 0-7011-6907-9.
  26. ^ Bardsley, Ch. W. E. (1901). A dictionary of English and Welsh surnames. Henry Frowde. p. 377. ISBN 978-5-87114-401-5.

External links

Black-headed heron

The black-headed heron (Ardea melanocephala) is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae, common throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. It is mainly resident, but some west African birds move further north in the rainy season.

This species usually breeds in the wet season in colonies in trees, reedbeds or cliffs. It builds a bulky stick nest, and lays 2–4 eggs.

It often feeds in shallow water, spearing fish or frogs with its long, sharp bill. It will also hunt well away from water, taking large insects, small mammals, and birds. It will wait motionless for its prey, or slowly stalk its victim.

The black-headed heron is a large bird, standing 85 cm tall, and it has a 150 cm wingspan. It is nearly as large as the grey heron, which it resembles in appearance, although it is generally darker. Its plumage is largely grey above, and paler grey below. It has a powerful dusky bill.

The flight is slow, with the neck retracted. This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes, and spoonbills, which extend their necks. The white underwing coverts are striking in flight.

The call is a loud croaking.

Cefa Natural Park

The Cefa Natural Park (Romanian: Parcul Natural Cefa) is a protected area (natural park category V IUCN) situated in Romania, on the administrative territory of Bihor County.

Drigh Lake

Drigh Lake (Urdu: ڈرگ جھیل ‎) is situated in Qambar Shahdadkot District in Sindh, Pakistan, 29 kilometres (18 mi) from Larkana city and 7 kilometres (4 mi) from Qambar town. It has a surface area of 4,800 acres (1,900 ha) and the running length of the lake from North to South is about 5.64 Miles. Formed in the floods of 1814, 1815 and 1817. Drigh Lake is a favorable area for resident and winter migratory birds like night heron, grey heron, purple heron, great white egret, little egret, mallard, gadwal, pintail, shoveller, common teal, tufted duck, wigeon, osprey, marsh harrier, white breasted kingfisher, pied kingfisher, small blue kingfisher, purple galinule, white-breasted waterhen, moorhen, cormorant, common pochard, pied harrier, crow pheasant, darter, garganey, ferruginous duck, greater spotted eagle, moorhen, marbled teal and coot.Drigh Lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1972 and was designated as a Ramsar site recognized by the united nation as A World Heritage site in 1976.

Drigh lake is a privately owned property belonging to the "Shaikh" family DRIGH lake is a joint property of the Shaikh family Of Qamber.

Dignitaries who have visited the Drigh Dhand Apart from King George the 5th and Queen Mary Of England in 1918, Yasir Arafat, Raza Shah Pehlwi of Iran, Hafiz al-Asad of Syria, Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, Queen Elizabeth II of England and her husband Prince Philip, Shaikh Zahid of UAE, King Hussein of Jordan and former Pakistani leaders President of the state Field Martial General Ayub Khan, Shaheed Zulifqar Ali Bhutto Prime minister of Pakistan, President General Yahya Khan, and General Ziaul Haq when he was chief of army staff in the tenure of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Prime Minister ship.

Presently The Lake is under direct supervision of different members of the shaikh family.


Halasal is a village in Belgaum district in the southern state of Karnataka.

Halasal is a natural habitat for wildlife, including tigers, leopards, black panthers, elephants, gaur, deer, antelopes, and bears. Birds include the Indian spot-billed duck, pond heron, little egret, white-throated kingfisher, red-wattled lapwing, black-winged stilt, grey heron, eagle, bulbul, and wagtail. Some people visit Halasal to take part in jungle safaris.

Antarali Dagad or the "magic stone", a large stone resting on a small area, is a well-known tourist spot and popular for picnics.

Halsnøya, Rogaland

Halsnøya (locally called Halsne) is an island in Finnøy municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The 4.9-square-kilometre (1.9 sq mi) island is the largest island in of the Fisterøyene archipelago. Halsnøya is located south of the island of Ombo, southeast of the Sjernarøyane islands, east of the island of Finnøy, northeast of the island of Fogn, and west of the island of Randøy. The island is only accessible by boat, with regular ferry service from the nearby islands and to the mainland.

The island is hilly with some forest, where there are deer and pine marten. The bird life is rich, including a large grey heron colony. The rest of the island is cultivated for farming or pasture land. The 214-metre (702 ft) tall Eikefjellet mountain is the highest point on the island.


The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 64 recognised species, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns rather than herons. Members of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus are referred to as bitterns, and, together with the zigzag heron, or zigzag bittern, in the monotypic genus Zebrilus, form a monophyletic group within the Ardeidae. Egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons, and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white or have decorative plumes in breeding plumage. Herons, by evolutionary adaptation, have long beaks.

The classification of the individual heron/egret species is fraught with difficulty, and no clear consensus exists about the correct placement of many species into either of the two major genera, Ardea and Egretta. Similarly, the relationships of the genera in the family are not completely resolved. However, one species formerly considered to constitute a separate monotypic family, the Cochlearidae or the boat-billed heron, is now regarded as a member of the Ardeidae.

Although herons resemble birds in some other families, such as the storks, ibises, spoonbills, and cranes, they differ from these in flying with their necks retracted, not outstretched. They are also one of the bird groups that have powder down. Some members of this group nest colonially in trees, while others, notably the bitterns, use reed beds.

Järveküla Nature Reserve

Järveküla Nature Reserve is a nature reserve founded in 1990, situated by Lake Vörtsjärv in southern Estonia (Viljandi County) near the village of Järveküla. The nature reserve has been established to protect the population of white-tailed eagles present in the area, and includes pine forest and patches of bog.Other birds found in Järveküla Nature Reserve include: the Barn swallow (the national bird of Estonia), Eurasian wryneck, Eurasian golden oriole, Icterine warbler, River warbler, Spotted flycatcher, Eurasian tree sparrow, Common chaffinch, European greenfinch, European pied flycatcher, Eurasian skylark, Fieldfare, White wagtail, Yellowhammer, Hooded crow, Garden warbler, Grey heron, Eurasian blue tit, Eurasian blackcap, Common rosefinch, European goldfinch and Common chiffchaff among others.

Lake Karataş

Lake Karataş (Turkish: Karataş Gölü), also known as Lake Bahçeözü, is a fresh water lake in Burdur Province, Turkey.The lake is situated in Karamanlı ilçe (district) of Burdur Province at 37°23′N 29°58′E. It is a shallow lake with a surface area of. 1,190 ha (2,900 acres). Its north to south dimension is 7 km (4.3 mi). It is a part of the closed basin known as Göller Yöresi ("Turkish Lakes Region") . Its distance to Karamanlı is 16 km (9.9 mi) and to Burdur is 46 km (29 mi). Its elevation with respect to sea level is 1,050 m (3,440 ft).

The main bird species of the lake are Eurasian wigeon, grey heron, white heron, pochard, teal, and black-tailed godwit.

Lake Koman

Lake Koman (Albanian: Liqeni i Komanit) is a reservoir on the Drin River in northern Albania. Lake Koman is surrounded by dense forested hills, vertical slopes, deep gorges, and a narrow valley, completely taken up by the river. Besides the Drin, it is fed by the Shala and Valbona Rivers. The lake stretches in an area of 34 km2 (13 sq mi), its width being 400 m (0.25 mi). The narrowest gorge, which is surrounded by vertical canyon walls, is more than 50 m (0.031 mi) wide. The reservoir was constructed between 1979 and 1988 near the village of Koman with a height of 115 m (377 ft).The combination of specific topography and hydrological conditions, have contributed to the formation of different habitats. The golden jackal, red fox, european badger, eurasian otter, beech marten, european polecat are the primary predatory mammals. A high number of bird species have been observed in the region, including the common kingfisher, common quail, grey heron, eurasian wryneck, great spotted woodpecker and black-headed gull.The Lake Koman Ferry operates daily on the lake from Koman to Fierza. The ferry connects the city of Bajram Curri to the region of Tropojë. The journey takes about two and a half hours and is also popular with the foreign tourists. Smaller boats bring people and goods to remote villages, which are often far away from the lake, but can only be reached by water.

List of birds of Islamabad

This is a list of birds found in Islamabad, Pakistan. Seventy-two species of birds have been found in this area. The best places to watch are Margalla Hills and Rawal Lake.

Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger

Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

Indian pond heron (Paddybird), Ardeola grayii

Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis

Little egret, Egretta garzetta

Intermediate egret, Egretta intermedia

Grey heron, Ardea cinerea

Purple heron, Ardea purpurea

Common teal, Anas crecca

Black kite, Milvus migrans

Shikra, Accipiter badius

Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus

Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Grey francolin, Francolinus pondicerianus

Common quail, Coturnix coturnix

Brown waterhen, Amaurornis akool

White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus

Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian coot, Fulica atra

Red-wattled lapwing, Hoplopterus indicus

Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos

Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus

Feral pigeon, Columba livia

Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus

Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto

Palm dove, Spilopelia senegalensis

Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis

Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri

Common koel, Eudynamys scolopacea

Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis

House swift, Apus affinis

White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis

Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Hoopoe, Upupa epops

Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, Dinopium benghalense

Brown-fronted woodpecker, Dendrocopos auriceps

Crested lark, Galerida cristata

Small skylark, Alauda gulgula

Brown-throated sand martin, Riparia paludicola

Pale sand martin, Riparia diluta

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped swallow, Hirundo daurica

Paddyfield pipit, Anthus rufulus

Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea

White wagtail, Motacilla alba

Large pied wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis

Himalayan bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys

Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer

Dark-grey bushchat, Saxicola ferrea

Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius

Blue whistling thrush, Myophonus caeruleus

Fan-tailed warbler, Cisticola juncidis

Tawny prinia, Prinia inornata

Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris

Hume's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus humei

White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis

Black-chinned babbler, Stachyris pyrrhops

Common babbler, Turdoides caudatus

Jungle babbler, Turdoides striatus

Great tit, Parus major

Bar-tailed treecreeper, Certhia himalayana

Oriental white-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus

Rufous-backed shrike, Lanius schach

Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus

House crow, Corvus splendens

Brahminy starling, Sturnus pagodarum

Common myna, Acridotheres tristis

Bank myna, Acridotheres ginginianus

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

Alexandrine parakeet, Psittacula eupatria

Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis

Rufous treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda

Indian robin, Saxicoloides fulicatus


Maenporth (Cornish: Meyn Borth, meaning stones cove) is a cove and beach in west Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately two miles (3 km) south-southwest of Falmouth on the estuary of the River Fal.Maenporth cove faces east across Falmouth Bay with views towards Pendennis Castle and the lighthouse on St Anthony Head.

The South West Coast Path runs through Maenporth. Behind the cove, wetland supports varied birdlife including the grey heron and the little egret.

The beach shelves gently and at low water leaves an area of shallow water that is safe for swimming. The beach has facilities for launching boats, scuba diving and sea kayaking. Other facilities include car parking, a cafe and public toilets. On the hill above the beach is modern holiday accommodation in the Maenporth Estate. Neighbouring beaches include Swanpool and Gyllyngvase.

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary in Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh, India, near the village of Nelapattu. It has an area of 458.92 hectares. It is an important breeding site for spot-billed pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis).Nelapattu has two major plant communities, Barringtonia swamp forests and southern dry evergreen scrub.

Southern dry evergreen scrub covers most of the sanctuary, including the 288 hectares of Kalluru Reserved Forest and 88 hectares of unreserved forest. The dominant tree and shrub species are Manilkara hexandra, Maba buxifolia, Memecylon edule, Buchanania angustifolia, Zizyphus xylopyrus, and others.The Barringtonia swamp forests are found in the 83-ha Nelapattu tank. The predominant tree species is Barringtonia acutangula (Hijal). This tree also grows in uplands, but the tree species found at Nelapattu can grow in flooded conditions lasting for 5 to 7 months. The saplings can survive total submersion during the long duration of flooding.About 189 bird species can be found at Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary, 50 of which are migratory. In addition to the spot-billed pelican, it is an important breeding site for white ibis, openbill stork, night heron, and little cormorant. Other migratory water birds that visit the sanctuary include pintail, common teal, dabchick, shoveler, coot, spot-bill duck, grey heron, darter, black-winged stilt, and garganey gadwall.

Parika Nature Reserve

Parika Nature Reserve (Estonian: Parika looduskaitseala) is a nature reserve in Viljandi County in southern Estonia.

The nature reserve is situated in and around Parika bog, and consists of a system of bogs and small lakes. It is an important habitat for several species of orchid, including coralroot orchid, common spotted orchid and common twayblade, but also other e.g. Nymphaea candida. The bird-life of the nature reserve is also rich; species commonly found here include the lesser spotted eagle, black stork and grey heron. Two trails for visitors have been prepared in the nature reserve.

Purple heron

The purple heron (Ardea purpurea) is a wide-ranging species of wading bird in the heron family, Ardeidae. The scientific name comes from Latin ardea "heron", and purpureus, "coloured purple". It breeds in Africa, central and southern Europe, and southern and eastern Asia. The Western Palearctic populations migrate between breeding and wintering habitats whereas the African and tropical-Asian populations are primarily sedentary, except for occasional dispersive movements.

It is similar in appearance to the more common grey heron but is slightly smaller, more slender and has darker plumage. It is also a more evasive bird, favouring densely vegetated habitats near water, particularly reed beds. It hunts for a range of prey including fish, rodents, frogs and insects, either stalking them or standing waiting in ambush.

Purple herons are colonial breeders and build a bulky nest out of dead reeds or sticks close to the water' edge among reeds or in dense vegetation. About five bluish-green eggs are laid and are incubated by both birds. The young hatch about four weeks later and fledge six weeks after that. The International Union for Conservation of Nature notes that the global population trend is downwards, largely because of the drainage of wetlands, but assesses the purple heron's conservation status as being of "least concern".


Rhosneigr Welsh pronunciation is a village in the south-west of Anglesey, North Wales. It is situated on the A4080 road some 10 km south-east of Holyhead, and is on the Anglesey Coastal Path. From the clock at the centre of the village can be seen RAF Valley and Holyhead Mountain. The major towns of Holyhead and Llangefni and the city of Bangor are all within easy travelling distance. It is the most expensive place to live in Anglesey in terms of house prices. The village is very anglicised.

The village contains four caravan sites, three camp sites, holiday homes and bungalows, pubs, hotels, cafes, a new village hall, a chapel, residential homes, a school, a fire station, a convenience store and post office, a pharmacy and a fish and chip shop. It is served by Rhosneigr railway station.

Recreational activities include: swimming, surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding, shore and boat fishing, water skiing, golf, tennis and underwater diving. The village is home to Anglesey Golf Club.

It has three main beaches:

'Traeth Cymyran' that stretches from Afon Crigyll estuary to the Cymyran Strait.

Pwll Cwch' and 'Traeth Crigyll' – a small, rocky beach where boats and yachts stay overnight, running into a sandy beach interspersed by rocks and views of Snowdonia. It is popular with watersports enthusiasts, notably windsurfers and sailors.

'Traeth Llydan' which runs from the Barclodiad y Gawres ancient monument to Rhosneigr, ranging from pebble shores to pristine sandy shores. It is perfect for canoeing, walking and surfing. Traeth Llydan is a regular Green Coast Award Winner and is backed by sand dunes.

Llyn Maelog is around 65 acres in total with varying depth up to seven feet. It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. There is a good stock of fish in the lake including perch, bream, roach and pike. A large variety of birdlife inhabits the reedbeds. Grey heron, snipe, reed warblers, coots, mallard, shelducks etc. Black headed gulls nest on the small island. The lake is circled by public footpath and is popular with walkers. In 2011 it became the first lake in Wales to be classified as a village green.Maelog Lake Golf Club (now defunct) appeared prior to the First World War. The club and course disappeared at the onset of the Second World War.

Rotten Calder

The Rotten Calder is a river to the east of East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, Scotland and along with the Rotten Burn it forms the southern and western boundaries of Blantyre.

It begins as the Calder Water at its source at Ardochrig, and is joined by the Cleughearn, Lea and Drumloch Burns around Langlands Moss which drain from the Eldrig Hills. This river has also been titled the 'West' or 'South Calder Water', although the latter title is shared by another river in Motherwell. Upon being joined by the Rotten Burn to the south-east of East Kilbride, the river becomes the Rotten Calder Water. 'Water' is a term used in Scotland to denote a small river.

The Rotten Calder runs through a romantic scenic gorge titled Calderglen, where it flows through East Kilbride Parish. This area of the gorge is under the jurisdiction of Calderglen Country Park, run by South Lanarkshire Council. Over 160 nature trails border the river on both banks, in addition to the forest which occupies the slopes, and ferns, mosses and liverworts on the rocky precipices. Otter, roe deer and European green woodpecker can be seen in the southern reaches of the park. Buzzards can be seen hunting over open areas by the river and the grey heron, grey wagtail and dipper are common sights too. The river flows by the site of the former Calderwood Castle (demolished 1947-1951).

The gorge of the Rotten Calder Water was celebrated in books and poems for its romantic grandeur and lush ivy-tied crags. Many traces of 18th- and 19th-century landscape additions can be traced in the park, as well as old mines, quarries, and religious sites. After passing under the General's Bridge at Stoneymeadow, the Water flows by Crossbasket Castle (House) in an easterly direction, and on through the former estates of Greenhall and Milheugh where the valley is seen to give way to wide flood plains.

After Milheugh the river again regains its steep gorge and flows through scenery before flowing into the River Clyde near Bothwell Castle. There are many waterfalls on the river, these are Millwell Linn, Flatt Linn (Crutherland Linn), Torrance Linn (Fairy Linn or Walk Fort Linn), Black Linn, Trough Linn, Calderwood Linn (Castle Falls), Crossbasket Linn, Horseshoe Falls, Old Horseshoe Linn, Small Falls, and Milheugh Falls.

East Kilbride Angling Club have the fishing rights and stock the river with brown trout each year. Permits are available from Lightbody Quality Butchers of Murray Square, East Kilbride.

The river flows via the north side of Blantyre and forms the eastern boundary of the Newton district of Cambuslang before joining the River Clyde opposite Daldowie.

The valley of the Rotten Calder includes hermitages, islets, caves, crannies, ancient markings, fountains, fairy wells, numerous waterfalls, over 200 nature trails, summerhouses, ruined castles, and steep cliffs.

Spencer Road Wetlands

Spencer Road Wetlands is a one hectare Local Nature Reserve in Mitcham in the London Borough of Sutton. It is owned by Sutton Council and managed by the London Wildlife Trust.From about 1895 to 1959 the site was subject to controlled flooding for watercress production. It was left then unmanaged, and colonised by willow woodland, until the late 1980s, and in 1991 the London Wildlife Trust took over the management. The site has reed swamps with wetland vegetation, woodland, a sedge-bed and a pond. Insects include the twin-spotted wainscot and crescent moths, and there are birds such as grey heron, reed warbler and kingfisher.The entrance at the corner of Spencer Road and Wood Street is kept locked and there is no public access.

White-faced heron

The white-faced heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) also known as the white-fronted heron, and incorrectly as the grey heron, or blue crane, is a common bird throughout most of Australasia, including New Guinea, the islands of Torres Strait, Indonesia, New Zealand, and all but the driest areas of Australia.

It is a medium-sized heron, pale, slightly bluish-grey, with yellow legs and white facial markings. It can be found almost anywhere near shallow water, fresh or salt, and although it is prompt to depart the scene on long, slow-beating wings if disturbed, it will boldly raid suburban fish ponds.

Łuknajno Lake

Łuknajno [wukˈnajnɔ] (German: Lucknainer See) is a lake in the Masurian Lake District of north-eastern Poland, in Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. It lies approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of the town of Mikołajki, close to the north-western corner of Poland's largest lake called Śniardwy. Łuknajno covers an area of 6.8 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi), and has a maximum depth of 3 metres (9.8 ft).

The lake is the site of a nature reserve, and since 1977 has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a Ramsar site, in view of its importance as a breeding ground for water birds such as grebe, rail, moorhen, grey heron, bearded tit, white-tailed eagle, osprey, rust-coloured kite, cormorant and black tern. The lake is known since many decades as the habitat of the mute swan (Latin: Cygnus olor) – nesting there every year from a dozen to tens of dozen of pairs, and in time of moult arriving in numbers reaching up to 2,000 birds. The lake is part of the larger protected area known as Masurian Landscape Park.

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