The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Grey Heron

Afrikaans name: Bloureier

Grey Heron

Grey Heron hunting

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ardea cinerea

The Grey Heron is a large heron that is up to 1 metre tall. It weighs between 1 and 2 kg's.

It is a common bird that can be found over most of South Africa in suitable habitat.

Unlike the Black-headed Heron the Grey Heron is normally associated with water habitats. It is found around dams, ponds, estuaries  and other slow-moving bodies of water.

It breeds communally along with other herons, egrets, ibises and cormorants.

The Grey Heron feeds on fish, amphibians and insects.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Photo © Steven Herbert

Grey Herons are similar in looks to Black-headed Herons. The Grey Heron is white and not black on the sides of the head. The neck is a pale grey unlike the two-tone colour of the Black-headed Heron. In flight the underwing of the Grey Heron is more uniform in colour. Click the link for more pictures showing the differences between Grey and Blackheaded Herons.

References and further reading

The Coastal Guide of South Africa - Author: Jacana Media - Published: 2007 - Page: 102

The Herons Handbook - Author: James Hancock and James Kushlan - Published: 1984 - Page: 43

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 42

Two Oceans - Author: Branch, Griffiths, Branch and Beckley - Published: 2010 - Page: 354

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Published: 1989 - Page: 18

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 30

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 28

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 36

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 129

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 20

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 60

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 18

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 56

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 45

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 45

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 30

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 20

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 27

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 74

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 74

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 25

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 52

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 8

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 26

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 52

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 13

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 29

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 19

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 3

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 20

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 52

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 38

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 35

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 171

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 171

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