A common Palearctic species, the Grey Heron inhabits the southern parts of
Siberia. In Central Siberia the numbers are low and continue to decrease rapidly. In
earlier times, it was a common breeder around bodies of water in the steppes and
forest-steppes of Khakasia as well as on lakes in the Chulym forest-steppe and in the Us
depression (Sushkin 1914). Some vagrants have been found in the Sayan Mountains, and to
the north it occurs very rarely up to the latitude of Krasnoyarsk (Yudin 1952). In the
sixties, the species probably nested in the southern taiga of the upper Ket' River west of
the Yenisey at 58°15' N (Moskvitin et al. 1977). Syroechkovski observed Grey Herons on
many occasions in Evenkian mid taiga on the Podkamennaya Tunguska River near Vanavara (60°20'
N) in 1958. There are three seperate records of Grey Herons along the Yenisey: Bursky
found one in the Yenisey floodplain near Mirnoye (62°15' N) on June 19, 1982. Sheynov
found another in June 1983 near Bakhta, and the other was discovered by Anzigitova on June
3, 1973, near Alinskoye (63°20' N). Near the eastern borders of Central Siberia in the
Viluy River basin, the Grey Heron has colonized areas to the west and north and has
already been seen just below 64° N (Andreev 1974).