It lives by waters which offer it enough food. It eats mainly fish and also smaller mammals, reptiles, frogs, and larger insects. The muscles in its neck enable it to cut extremely quickly with its beak, which is generally characteristic of herons.
As a rule it nests in a colony where there are several nests in the same place. The nest is of branches and is cushioned with small pieces of material. In March and April the female usually lays four eggs. It takes 30 days for the eggs to hatch, the male and female take turns in the hatching process. The young birds remain in the nest for about 7 weeks, sometimes 9, until they are ready to fly away. At first parents feed the young birds directly by dropping food into their beaks, later they drop food in the nest and the young birds must fetch it themselves. The nest is built by both parents and used for several years. Sometimes an old nest of older birds is used as a foundation for a new nest. The grey heron is spread from North Africa to South Scandinavia, from Azores to Japan, and Ceylon and Indonesia. In Slovenia we find it by waters everywhere, however, it nests in the north-east part of Slovenia. It is endangered mostly due to polluted waters and direct disruption, ill-treatment and destruction of nature. It has been protected since 1972.
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