Heron’s Nest Rescue

November 9, 2011

Our intentions where to recover the fallen Heron’s nest and bring it back to the Shadbush Nature Center and make a learning display from it. It is a rarity to be able to examine, yet alone set up a Heron’s nest for others to see. It would not be so in this case.

A Great Blue Heron’s nest had fallen from about 80′ up in one of the nesting trees at the Heronry at Holland Ponds park. It would have disintegrated upon hitting the ground, except for a small tree which caught the nest about 10′ off the ground. A very unique accurance and an opportunity to study and possibly display this nest for others to learn from.

After we had retrieved the nest from the 10′ tree, we discovered many things that would make displaying this nest at the Nature Center, impossible. First…..the nest was covered in mold and Heron droppings. Not a little bit….but COVERED. In fact, the whiteness of the video below is not incorrect “white-balance” on the camera, but rather just how covered the nest was in white excrement.

Secondly, we discovered that the herons are not the greatest nest builders. Rather then interweaving the branches and twigs that form the nest, the female just kinda laid each twig, on-top one another. Examining the nest on the ground, it disintegrated before our eyes as we just lightly touched areas of the nest.

Even though we where not able to bring the nest back to the Nature Center, we did learn so very much about these birds and nests. Not all pretty stuff, but a very unique information that was not obtainable in to many places.


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