This is the largest European Heron. It is usually a solitary bird though several birds may feed close by. It stalks its food, often standing motionless for some considerable time. It usually feeds close to the bank or shore, but may wade out into shallow water. It feeds on a diet mainly of fish but will also take frogs and tadpoles.
It can most commonly be seen on wetland marshes, gravel pits, reservoirs, lakes and rivers and estuaries, Usually seen standing silently at the water's edge, waiting for prey. Will come to gardens with ornamental fish ponds and fish farms.
It breeds colonially in tall trees near to plentiful fish supplies.
Incubation: 25-26 days
Fledging: 42-55 days
Maximum lifespan: 25 years