Afrikaans name: Bloureier
Grey Heron hunting
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 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 readingA 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