Grey Heron

      Ardea cinerea

      Information

      Thanks to its amazing adaptability, the Grey Heron has become a synanthropic species in recent times. Nowadays, for example, it breeds as a wild bird in various zoos. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the Grey Heron was persecuted relentlessly so that it almost disappeared from Switzerland as a breeding bird. These large grey birds can often be seen hunting for voles in close proximity even to buildings, standing motionlessly ready to make a lightning strike at unsuspecting prey.

      Voice

      Status (in CH)
      regular, scarce breeder, migrant and winter visitor
      Annual cycle
      The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
      Annual cycle
      Annual cycle

      Facts

      Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
      1'600 - 1'800 (2013-2016)
      Migration behaviour
      predominantly short-distance migrant
      Diurnal/nocturnal migrant
      Diurnal and nocturnal migrant
      Length (cm)
      90-98
      wing span (cm)
      155-175
      Weight (g)
      1600-2000
      Nest site
      trees, ground
      Food
      fish, small mammals, amphibians
      Group
      Herons and Bitterns
      Habitat
      wetlands, lakes, rivers & streams, farmland, forests
      Distribution
      Distribution
      Distribution