TAIYUAN, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Over 300 grey herons have migrated to the Yellow River wetlands in Pinglu County, north China's Shanxi Province, to nest and breed, according to local authorities.
The heron is a long-legged wading bird with a gray body and wings, featuring black stripes extending along the long neck. It is included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
Yang Yunge, chief of the wildlife protection station in Pinglu County, said few grey herons appeared in the 6,000-hectare wetlands before 2015. "As its ecological environment improved in recent years, we saw a growing number of the rare birds."
“We have designated 20 hectares of land as a protection zone for grey herons. Every day, two staff members patrol the area to protect the birds during their breeding season,” Yang said.
Grey herons generally nest on cliffs. “Many gray heron lovers have come here to shoot pictures these days. Their nests here are really special,” said photographer Yang Junfeng.
The Yellow River is China's second longest river. With a temperate climate and abundant food, wetlands along the river are paradises for migratory birds.