Grey Herons in Ireland
grey heron is one of Ireland's most distinctive birds. With it's
long neck, long legs, grey plumage, long head crest, and dagger-like
bill it is impossible to confuse with another Irish bird.
heron's upperparts are grey, however the head, neck and belly are
white. The crest is black and black markings continue down the throat
to the belly.
are most often observed alone however where feeding is good they
may congregate in relatively large numbers. They are known to gather
in large numbers in Dublin Zoo near the sealion enclosure, particularly
around feeding time.
Name for Grey Heron
Irish word for grey heron is Corr ghlas.
grey heron's diet consists fish, frogs and other amphibians, ducklings,
other birds, and small rodents such as mice.
feed in shallow water often waiting for long periods motionless
for prey, or slowly stalk its victim. Due to their S-shaped neck,
the bird is able to strike with their bill very rapidly. Herons
are a wading bird generally avoiding swimming whenever possible.
have been known to hunt for small mammals in open fields after crops
have been harvested. Herons will also clear garden ponds of fish
if not deterred.
Grey Herons Nesting
grey heron's nest is made from large twigs and grass and is constructed
by both the male and female. The nest forms a large platform in
tall trees and are usually built in colonies called a heronry.
duty of incubating the eggs are performed by both parents. The eggs
are about 60 mm by 43 mm, and pale greenish-blue. Both adults birds
also feed the chicks.
Herons in Winter
Herons are most usually found in the same wetland habitats during
the winter as they are in the breeding season. Herons that breed
in Ireland are believed to be sedentary however birds from Britain
and as far away as Scandinavia join the Irish population for the
Name: Ardea cinerea
94cm Wingspan: 185cm Weight:
M & F: 1.5kg
: The most common call is a loud, rasping "fraark",
which is frequently made in flight.
Wetlands - rivers, lakes & ponds, estuaries.
Fish, frogs & other amphibians, small mammals, and sometimes
From 2 years
Number of Eggs:
No. of Clutches:
1 (2 rarely)
5 years. Record is 23 years & 9 months.
Status in Ireland: GREEN
Heron Range in Ireland
grey heron is a permanent resident and is widespread and common