Grey heron

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The grey heron (Ardea cinerea), is a wading bird belonging to the family Ardeidae.

The grey heron is distributed in Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent and Africa. There are four recognized subspecies of these herons.

The subspecies A. c. cinerea occurs in Europe, Africa, Asia including India and Sri Lanka. The subspecies A. c. jouyi occurs in Myanmar, Southeast Asia and Philippines.

The subspecies A. c. firasa occurs in Madagascar. The subspecies A. c. monicae occurs in islands off Mauritania.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these heron species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

The heron is a large bird standing up to one meter tall. Its length is 90 to 100 cm and weight is 1,000 to 2,000 grams. It has a wingspan of 175 to 200 cm. Its forehead, crown and throat are white.

The plumage of the heron is grey on the back and off-white below. In adult birds a broad black supercilium is found as a broad black eyestripe from above eye to back of crown and extending beyond the neck. The breeding adults have a bright pinkish-yellow bill.

These herons inhabit shallow, fresh, brackish or salt, standing or flowing waters. They feed on fish, crustaceans, insects and frogs.

In Europe, these herons are getting used to urban life. They breed in colonies on tree tops near water sources.

Indian birds - Grey heron - Ardea cinerea
Indian birds - Grey heron - Ardea cinerea

Biological classification of Ardea cinerea
Species:A. cinerea
Binomial name:Ardea cinerea
Distribution:Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa;
Feeding habits:fish, crustaceans and insects;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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