Grey heron males have again returned to their Wilden Marsh family nesting site and await the arrival of females to begin raising the next generation. When a female arrives at the nest, the male heron usually collects the necessary raw materials and she carries out nest repairs and improvements prior to egg laying. A pair of herons will have one brood each year.
I hope our herons are not shot this year by a few young and not so young high-powered air rifle owners.
To sustain themselves, herons eat fish, small birds such as ducklings, and small mammals like voles and amphibians.
All wild birds (including both eggs and nests) are protected by law. Some species have additional protection when nesting. Many bird habitats are also protected and local planning authorities (LPAs) have a duty to conserve their biodiversity.
In Great Britain herons are protected at all times under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with fines or prison sentences available for anyone killing or attempting to kill one (see A brief guide to birds and the law, linked from this page, for further details). The heron is also protected under the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.
Government licences to kill small numbers of herons can be issued in very limited circumstances. These would normally be issued to owners of commercial fisheries where all other non-lethal methods have been shown to be ineffective.
It’s also illegal to take, injure or kill a crow, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.