ERIK - and the herons
Although “The Heron Man” sound like some kind of super-villain in a Marvel comic, Erik is proud of his nickname. He started feeding the Grey Herons 17 years ago, and over the years he and the herons has developed a unique bond. Through sounds, whistling and signs Erik can make the large birds perform at his command.
The Grey Heron is a common, wide-spread bird species in Denmark. Normally, the large bird expresses a shy behavior towards humans. But with a ton load of patience and plenty of food Erik has learned the herons that they need not to fear him and that they will receive a treat whenever they do as he tells them. The herons will patiently await the arrival of Erik at the main entrance of the park. When he finally arrives they will follow him around leaving no doubt that they can recognize him and his whistling sounds.
Frederiksberg Have is one of the oldest parks in Copenhagen and The Heron Man visits almost daily throughout the year. Erik spends around 100 US Dollars per month out of his own pocket on fish and meat for the herons. In addition, he spends a considerate amount of time in the nearby supermarkets hunting for the best offers on items reduced in price.
I lived close to Frederiksberg Have for two years and would often brought my camera when I went for a walk. I would usually meet Erik and listen to his many stories about the herons. A little fun-fact about Erik: He has more than 1600 James Last albums …. Erik is truly a Copenhagen character!