The Urban Herons Of Amsterdam

Over the years a large population of grey herons have made an unlikely home in urban Amsterdam. Julie Hrudova documents how the birds integrate into city life.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Grey herons have taken up residency in Amsterdam in recent decades, and are often seen at markets hoping to catch some fish or chicken.

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Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

They’ve become well accustomed to urban life in the Dutch capital.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Hundreds of herons come to the city during winter to find food and shelter.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

At the Dappermarket in the east of Amsterdam, herons can often be seen circling around the stalls.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Some regulars in a nearby cafe hold a contest to see who can capture the most herons in one photo. The current record is 29.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Leftovers at the Albert Cuyp market.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Herons usually hunt for food in ditches and lakes, but can take a more urban approach.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Herons wait for leftovers at the market.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Some residents have even started feeding the herons themselves.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

There are around 800 pairs of herons in 25 different colonies in Amsterdam.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

The Netherlands has the highest density of grey heron colonies in northern Europe.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

The herons mostly build their nests in trees in city parks.


Julie Hrudova/The Guardian

Amsterdam’s urban herons even had a documentary made about them.

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