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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 here for more pictures showing the differences.


References and further reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List of South African Birds

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