I am the biggest wader in Europe. I am about 98 cm tall and my wingspan can range from 175 to 195 cm. I weigh between 600 grams and 1.2 kilos. I have gray plumage and a distinctive silhouette with an S-shaped neck at rest and in flight.
I feed mainly on fish. My dagger-like beak is a formidable weapon when it comes to harpooning my prey. I am also partial to amphibians, crayfish and small mammals that I can hunt on the meadows.
I live in colonies that are called “heronries”. These colonies can count up to several hundred nests. I lay between three and five eggs per clutch.
I can live up to 25 years
Where and when can you find me in the reserve ?
- I do not breed in Rohrschollen Island Nature Reserve, but I do like to hunt for fish along the Bauerngrundwasser or the Vieux Rhin. At nightfall, I rest on a “dormitory” tree out of harm from predators.
When to spot me
You can see me around the waterbodies in the reserve all year round.
- Red list of nesting birds in metropolitan France: Least Concern (LC).
- Red list of endangered nesting birds in Alsace: Least Concern (LC).