Learn About Colonies within the Great Blue Heron Reserve!
The Heron Colony here at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve is active from early March to late July
Herons return to nest on site at the end of February/ early March. The best place to view the colony is west along the North Dyke Trail, about a 10 minutes walk from the Rotary Interpretive Center. There are currently 95 active nests in the colony.
- The Colony is situated in a grove of mature Cottonwood trees
- Herons choose a new mate each year
- Nest selections and courting starts in early March
- 3 - 5 eggs are laid in late March and hatch about a month later
- Incubation is 28 days
- Chicks take 10 weeks to go from a newly hatched chick to a fully fledged juvenile
- On average 1 chick per nest survives
- Eagles are a major predator, eating the eggs and chicks - However, having one territorial eagle in their midst actually protects the herons from further predation from outside raptors
- A large eagle nest is located right beside the colony
- Racoons can climb the trees to get eggs or chicks
- All of the trees are protected by fencing to keep the beavers from bringing them down
- Watch for otters playing in the water in front of the nesting site
- Also watch for woodpeckers, swallows, mergansers and wood ducks