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Order Herons, Storks, Ibeses/Ciconiiformes, Family Herons, Bitterns/Ardeidae

Grey Heron/Ardea cinerea - First year

L 84-102 cm (neck extended), WS 155 colonies, or sometimes solitarily, in woodland with tall trees beside lakes and brackish sea-bays. Waits patiently, stock lakeshores and riversides; rests on one reeds. Hardy, just retreats from ice in N, but some migrate to W Europe. Nest a flat basket of sticks in tree crown.
IDENTIFICATION: Very big, strongly built heron, mostly medium grey above and greyish-white below. Di in flight, and often when standing. Bill straight, powerful, greyish (orangey when breeding), legs greyish somewhat irregular beats, all the time with wings strongly bowed, of up. Upperwings bicoloured, grey with black remiges and primary coverts; also two paler patches at carpal, well visible in front view. (For differences from Purple Heron, see latter.) sides white; crown-side (seldom visible); neckcentral band. - Juvenile/1st 155-175 cm. Breeds in stock-still, for prey (mostly fish) on leg in shallow water, often at edge of Distinguished from Crane by retracted neck greyish-yellow or grey. Flies with slow, - Adult: Forehead, crown sides and nape black; long, narrow black nape plume -sides pale greyish-white with black 1st-winter: Forehead and crown grey; nape greyish rB2 stinguished greyish-yellow often high crown-centre and heads black-streaked white greyishblack with short plume; head-sides and neck-sides medium grey, as back; neck-centre buffish.
VOICE: Commonest call, often heard at dusk from birds flying to roost, a loud, harsh and croaking ‘kah-ahrk’, which often has a sing-song, echoing quality. At colonies gives knocking and croaking series.

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