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The Surprising Location Of Grey Herons’ Nesting

Grey herons in the UK prefer to nest in tall trees, typically located in areas that are free from disturbance and offer commanding views over the local landscape. While some heronries may be close to water, including those associated with estuaries and cliff-face sites, others are located further away, leaving the herons to make commuting flights of several kilometres to and from favoured feeding locations.

Herons return to their nest sites in February; eggs hatch between March and April

The birds also use wet meadows and damp grasslands as ‘standing grounds’ – places to rest and digest their food. A dozen or more individuals may congregate at such sites, using them throughout the year. Grey herons breeding in the Camargue regularly nest in the redbeds adjoining the waterbodies within which the birds feed, but this behavior is rare here.

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