Average lifespan: 5 years
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutHerons are often seen stood as still as a statue on their long thin legs in shallow waters of ponds and lakes patiently waiting for their next meal to swim by. These tall birds spend most of their time alone feeding mainly on fish but can be tempted by the occasional tasty mole! When feeling particularly lazy the heron will visit gardens with ponds for a quick and easy snack. Make sure you look out for these incredible birds in flight, their slow-flapping wings and long legs held out behind make them hard to miss!
How to identifyThe heron is an easily recognised, grey-backed bird, with long legs, a long, white neck, bright yellow bill and a black eyestripe that continues as long, drooping feathers down the neck. Flies with its long legs stretched out, but its neck pulled in.
In our area
One of the best places to see grey herons is at The Mere in Ellesmere. Moscow Island, which lies 40m off the shore by The Boathouse holds an impressive heronry and dozens of these majestic birds can be seen sitting on their nests from February until June. Ellesmere Heronwatch www.heronwatch.org.uk volunteers are on hand in the cafe there to answer questions. There is also live video footage of the nests on display. video films of the herons and their chicks.