A heron similar to the bird that was a familiar sight in the city centre in the early hours.

Well-known bird feared dead

A heron known locally to appear in the early hours of the morning in Cork city centre is feared dead following reports on social media.

The distinctive, solitary bird could often be spotted near Berwick Fountain on the Grand Parade and its surrounding area foraging for food left behind by pub and club goers after a night out.

According to a recent post on Cork’s dedicated Reddit page r/cork, a heron was found barely alive near the fountain earlier this week.

“I'm one of the folks who attended the heron yesterday,” the post read.

“It was still alive, but barely, when my friend first noticed it there, and I came back with her to see if we could get someone to rescue it.

“I don't know how long it had been there near the fountain, my friend noticed it first around 2pm yesterday but perhaps it had been there for longer.

“We called for animal rescue in the hopes that they could pick it up and maybe help it, but the animal died before they could even get in the city (due to traffic and apparently an accident blocking the road).”

According to the post, there were no visible wounds on the bird.

Many Cork Redditors expressed their sadness to hear the news, with one writing: “Ah I’m sad to hear it died. I had only seen it the other night when I was cycling home.”

Another wrote: “Oh it's so sad, I saw him today a bit after 2am standing up on the top of the small glass building.”

According to Birdwatch Ireland, herons are usually encountered as solitary birds but can sometimes be seen in pairs.