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I Love Herons, Me!

Herons in the Valley (again)

We are so privileged here in the Breamish Valley, as it has an abundance of wildlife. And, if you’ve been looking up, you will most likely, at some point, have seen a majestic, large-winged heron pulling itself effortlessly through the sky.

The grey heron (Ardea cinerea) is a long-legged, freshwater and coastal wading bird with a long bill:

  • standing height: 100 cm
  • wingspan: 155–195 cm
  • weight: 1.02–2.08 kg

It’s one of the top 10 largest birds in the UK. What’s not to like?

I love herons me (1)
Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) above the River Breamish
O love herons, me (2)
Effortless flight of the grey heron

Let’s stork about it…

Herons appear to be quite similar to storks: storks are also long-legged, wading birds with a long bill. In fact, they are a close relative. However, storks belong to the family Ciconiidae and herons belong to the family Ardeidae. Storks also tend to live in drier habitats.

I was lucky enough to see a few white storks in Catalonia back in 2015. From the image below, you can see the similarity to the grey heron.

White stork with chicks (Catalonia, 2015)

White storks are also a larger bird:

  • standing height: 100–125 cm
  • wingspan: 155–215 cm
  • weight: 2.3–4.5 kg

I love herons, though…

North Northumberland grey heron

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