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(Ardea cinerea), a bird of the order Ciconiiformes. The body length is about 1 m. The neck and legs are long. The bill reaches 13 cm in length. The back and sides are gray, and the underparts are white. The neck has black spots, and there is a narrow black crest on the head. The gray heron is distributed in Europe, Africa, and Asia. In the USSR it is found in the north, below Leningrad, Tomsk, and Yakutsk. It is a migratory bird; in the USSR it winters in Transcaucasia and Middle Asia. The bird keeps to the shores of bodies of water and nests in colonies in trees, sometimes with other species of birds. The gray heron feeds on small fish, frogs, rodents, and insects. It sometimes harms fish farms by killing the fry.