Posts Tagged: grey heron


While the heron tends to move around with a gentle flap of its wings, it takes out the smallest and fastest animals when hunting: mice, frogs, hamsters… but it’s not called the “Fischreiher” (fish heron) in German for nothing, as it  actually lives on banks and floodplains. The increased rainfall and resulting floods in recent years have created new wetlands – both voluntary and involuntary – and the heron population has increased significantly.

The big guy I was watching here took at least one fish out of the water during the 20 minutes and came away empty-handed twice.

Gray eminence

Is it wildlife when untamed birds come to the zoo to steal some food? Somehow yes and someway no. Scatter food to attract wildlife is often frowned upon in many places in the scene. On the one hand, it’s almost like the old trappers when you lure the animals with treats. On the other hand, the food that comes from humans is sometimes contaminated, treated with additives and, in short, of poor and dangerous quality. Well, since this gray heron came to the Frankfurt Zoo when the seals were being fed, I assume that this is a gray area 😉 : Yes, he is wild and no, he is half tame if he knows where he can steal his fish every day. He has also largely lost his fear of people. … and the frontal shot shows what I said a few posts ago: herons are graceful animals, as long as they don’t look at you head-on.

Gray heron and the mouse

It is the most common heron species, according to NABU, and yes, there are some in Karben. On my lunchtime walk I pass a field where two herons have been hunting for a week. I missed the big spectacle because I didn’t have a camera with me, but the 10 minutes yesterday were worth it. First he strutted across the mown field with his head held high and caught a mouse for lunch, then he preferred to move on.

30 minutes with the grey heron

Gray herons are not an uncommon guest on my blog, which is because they have been reappearing in our cities in recent years – you just see them more often. I can’t say exactly what it is, but there’s something about these animals: while they look very graceful and beautiful profile, they look a bit dumb and weird from the front. This fellow here wasn’t shy, but kept his distance when I got too close to him.

Zoo Frankfurt

The kids got their school reports and as a tradition we as a family do something special on that day. We went for a nice asian buffet (we ate far too much) and headed for the Frankfurt Zoo. When we arrived, it was raining and only about two hours left before it closed, so not the best signs. The images you see here were all shot with high ISOs and were partly very noisy. I had to push them through a few tools and so they are all heavily altered.

The all new enclosure for the penguins is great. All my life, I saw them in the Exotarium, living in that tiny space behind glass. Now they got their new home right next to the seals – outdoor and a much bigger basin to swim in with a viewing area for the visitors. Great! The old reigns has yet to be redefined, as many of the penguins uttered calls to mark their territory.

The humidity was so hight that I could not get my lens clean, when entering the ape house (Borgori-World) – next time.

Grey heron


Meet my new friend! This really big grey heron can be seen in the Vogelpark in Niendorf. He has one crippled claw and his nostrils was jammed with dirt. Obviously his ability to fly away had been disabled by cutting his feathers on the left wing. Sitting in a rather dull spot at the farest end of the park he reminded me of an old captain, stranded, with no water and chance to ever get away. He seemed to have some story to tell and was absolutely not shy, which is usually the case with herons. Whenever they see you with a lens pointing at them with no cover at all they fly away. I spent a few minutes with him, waiting at the fence that kept him from getting away by feet. We stared at each other and than he made a step towards my position, picked up a tiny branch and tried to move it my direction. I try to think that this was some kind of inviational gift and this gesture really touched me. I will post another picture of him right away as he is actually a good looking bird, at least from the side.


Here he is with the tiny branch that he tried to throw in my direction. I really felt sorry that he got caught, but his behavior, his broken claw and him not beeing shy of people at all made me believe that he actually was lucky stranding here. Who knows: perhaps he was found with his claw crippeled and got a second chance to live on thanks to the people in the park.