Gray heron is found in most of Europe, and their area extends through Russia to the east to Japan, south through China to India. Gray troops are also met in some parts of Africa and Madagascar, North America, Greenland and Australia.
Where gray heron equip housing
These herons partially migrate. Birds that breed in areas with cold winters move into warmer regions, some travel long distances to get to the territories with nests and return back.
Basically, herons live near freshwater habitats, such as rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs and swamps, salty or brackish hollows and mouths.
Description of gray heron
Gray heron is large birds, the growth of which is 84 102 cm, including an elongated neck, wingspan 155 195 cm and weight from 1.1 to 2.1 kg. The upper plumage is mainly gray on the back, wings and neck. The plumage on the bottom of the body is dirty white.
The head is white with a wide black “eyebrow” and long black feathers that grow from the eyes to the beginning of the neck, forming a comb. Strong, like a dagger, beak and legs yellowish in non-multiplying adults, become orange-reddened in the wedding season.
They fly, stretching long neck (S-shaped). A distinctive feature wide arched wings and long paws hanging in the air. Classes fly slowly.
Than the gray heron feed
Birds feed on fish, frogs and insects, reptiles, small mammals and birds.
Gray heron hunt in shallow water, stand completely motionless in the water or next to her, waiting for prey, or slowly pursue it, and then quickly strike with a beak. The victim swallows the whole.
The gray heron caught a huge frog
Nesting gray her troops
Gray herons propagate one by one or in colonies. Nests are built on trees next to reservoirs on the coast or in reeds. Herons are true to the propagation places, return to them from year to year, including subsequent generations.
At the beginning of the reproduction season, males choose nesting places. Couples remain together for the wedding season. Nesting activity is observed from February to early June.
Combustible nests on the platform are building a herb of branches, sticks, grass and other material that males collect. Nests sometimes reach 1 meter on cross. Place gray herons in the crowns of tall trees, in a thick undergrowth and sometimes on bare ground. These nests are used again in subsequent seasons or new nests are built on old nests. The size of the nest attracts females, they prefer large nests, males violently protect the nests.
Females lay one or as many as 10 eggs in the nest. The amount depends on how favorable the conditions for the education of young. Most nests contain from 4 to 5 light blue-green eggs. Parents take turns hatching eggs within 25 26 days before the appearance of the chicks.
The cubs are covered with fluff, and both parents take care of them, protect and feed an ejected fish. Loud clicking sounds of hungry chicks are heard in the daytime. At first, parents feed, spinning food in the beak, later on the nest, and the chicks compete for the right to eat prey. They push rivals from the nest and even eat dead brothers and sisters.
The chicks leave the nest after 50 days, but remain next to their parents until they become selfsufficient in a few weeks.
How long the gray heron live
The oldest heron lived 23 years. The average life expectancy in nature is about 5 years. Only about a third live until the second year of life, many gray heron become victims of predation.