Huge surprise! A reef heron! Never before seen in the Gautegiz Arteaga marshes!

Sunday, 28 August 2022 12:47

garc dim4There was comotion in the Urdaibai BIrd Center observatory this morning when Sergi and Belen, our eagle eyed volunteers,spotted something strange in the marsh. Amongst the egrets was an unusual looking bird. Its colouring resembled that of a grey heron, its size that of an egret. Everyone´s scopes were on it. Sergi and Belen´s bird watching experience came in handy They identified it as a western reef heron (Egretta gularis), a species never seen in the Gautegiz Arteaga marshes before.

garc dim4

The reef heron occurs mainly in Southern Europe, tropical west Africa and parts of Asia. It inhabits coastal wetlands or mangroves and nests in colonies in trees or shrubs. It can often be seen amongst other species, as was so in Urdaibai.

Garc dim5

This elegant bird stalks its prey in shallow water, often running or stirring the water with its feet or moving its wings to disturb prey. It also stands still and waits to ambush prey. This species eats fish, crustaceans, and molluscs.

garc dim2

Seeing this gem in the Urdaibai marshes this morning was truly amazing and highlights the importance of wetland conservation. This conservation work would not be possible without the dedication of skilled volunteers like Sergi and Belen, whose passion for nature is transmitted to all our visitors. Great work!

segi and belen

Visit us! The scopes are ready and surprises are in store!


We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.

EU Cookie Directive Module Information