Ardea cinerea Linnaeus, 1758
Length 90-98 cm. Wingspan 1.5-1.95 m. Weight 1.6-2 kg.
This large bird eats fish, frogs, reptiles and small mammals like rats. It can remain as still as a statue or walk slowly along the water’s edge before darting at lightning speed to seize fish in its powerful bill.
It builds its nest from sticks in treetops, laying 4 to 5 eggs in 1 brood from January to May. They can live for up to 25 years.
It can be seen all year round in fresh or salt water habitats, or even near garden ponds in urban areas. It is also seen perched on top of trees or rooftops. A common and widespread bird throughout the UK.