Gray heron
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes/Ciconiiformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Species: Ardea cinerea

The gray heron, or Ardea cinerea, is a common heron that is often found in built up areas, as well as not. They are often shy on the ground, in the air they fly with long, slow and surprisingly loud wing beats. They are patient and, similar to kingfishers, they will stand still next to a pond for a long time before actually going for a fish with their powerful beaks. Although they mainly eat fish, they also eat other aquatic vertebrates. It's easy to recognize a heron, especially when it's in flight, from it's long legs, which are stuck out behind it in flight.


The gray heron has very long legs and neck. It has gray wings with stripes of black and a white neck and head, with two black stripes on the latter. It also has a long orange beak.


Gray herons feed mainly on amphibians and fish, especially eels.


These herons nest in trees and reed beds, most often near water sources such as marshes and lakes.