GråhägerPhoto: Henrik Waldenström.Grafiskt element

Grey Heron

Ardea  cinerea

The grey heron is a stylish bird which attracts attention even from the casual passerby with no interest in birds. The sight of a large bird poised immobile at the water’s edge to surprise a fish, or flying overhead with indrawn neck and outstretched legs, is impressive. Viewed from behind, the flying heron looks like a number 3 on its left side, on account of its curved wings. The heron breeds in colonies where several nests can occur in one tree. Most of the colonies in the Mälaren region originate from Skansen’s herons that were set free in the 1930s. In 1987 the ornithologist Henrik Waldenström placed six platforms in a number of elms at the marsh of Isbladskärret to attract Skansen’s free-flying herons, which often fished there. After two years, two pairs began to breed, building their nests on the platform. Since then the colony has grown steadily and amounts today to 45-60 pairs. Visit Isbladskärret on South Djurgården from February to August. It is especially lively when the young herons hatch in April. Several of the herons from Isbladskärret spend the winter in the Stockholm region and can be found, for example, on Lake Råstasjön in Solna.



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