Latin name: Ardeidae
Size: up to 98cm. Wingspan:- up to 195cm.
Weight: about 1500g
Average lifespan: Oldest ringed bird recorded, 25 years, 4 mths.
Group name: colonies (heronries)
The heron is a large bird species that wades in water. The heron lives in areas close to lakes, river and ponds. There are many heron species, about 60. They have long legs and are wading birds. You can find herons all over the world and are most common in the tropical areas. A couple of heron species are the little blue heron, white bellied heron and the European night heron. Heron nests are mostly grouped in colonies called heronries.
What does a Heron look like?
Herons are very large birds, they have long pointed beaks that help the heron in their quest to grab fish out of the rivers, lakes and ponds. Herons have huge wings, so big they can be double the size of the herons body. Herons have thing long legs, which are very useful for standing in water. The long necks help catch fish from the water as well, their neck is commonly bent in an S shape. When herons fly, their legs are hanging loosely and they hold their head against their body. They do not stretch their necks out in front as most birds do when flying.
Where does the Heron live?
There are more than 60 species or heron found all over the world. Mostly inhabiting the wetlands like lakes, river and ponds. Herons are found in North America, Europe, Asia, India, northern China, southern Africa, Indonesia, Japan & south to the Mediterranean. When the European herons migrate they will fly south, wintering in the Sahara. The largest heron species can be found at the Galapagos Islands, which can measure nearly a meter in height. Herons always live in welands such as lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps and seacoasts.
What does a Heron eat?
Herons are carnivorous and eat fish, crabs, insects, reptiles, mall mammals and even other smaller birds. They find their pray while wading quietly in watery pools, swamps and rivers. They are actively feeding in both night and day. The herons pointed spearlike beak helps them to grab their food out of the water and then swallow it whole.
What are the natural predators of the heron?
Since herons are very large birds they have only few natural predators. The eggs and young heron birds are more in danger of being eaten by raccoons, foxes, weasels and minks, rather than the large adult herons themselves.
Did you know about these Heron facts?
The topspeed of a Heron is 64km/h (40mph)
The heron is Britain's tallest bird and one of the most easily recognised.
Its outline is quite distinctive, whether it is standing motionless at the water's edge or flying, silhouetted against the sky.
Herons have soft feathers and this plumage can be colored blue, black, brown, gray or white
Some species of herons are also known as egrets and bitterns
Herons are often confused with storks and Cranes
Herons build their nests in tall trees for safety
The feet of herons have long thin toes, with three forward pointing ones and one going backward
Download free Heron wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Heron wallpaper 1
Heron wallpaper 2
Heron wallpaper 3
Heron wallpaper 4
Heron Coloring pages
Print free Heron coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.