The HERONS are Back

March 6, 2013

For the last 10 years we have followed and written about the largest Great Blue Heron nesting site in Southeastern Michigan. This special place is located at Holland Ponds Park, in Shelby Twp. Michigan. That is in Macomb county off Ryan road and 22 mile rd. We watch, video tape and take extensive pictures each year at the Heronry, and then write a year-end report on how many nests where occupied, how many Heron youngsters were reared from each nest and how the Colony as a whole, aired for that season.

Well…..a bit earlier then normal, but the first of the Herons have arrived at the Heronry on March 6th. This is the earliest I can remember any Heron returning from their wintering grounds to start up nesting at Holland Ponds.

The 9 Herons we spotted at the Colonies nesting sites where all hunched over an individual nest, trying to stay warm. It is still in the low 30s during the day and 20s at night, so it will be a very cold start to this years nesting season.

While the Herons where wintering elsewhere, a wind storm took down one of the nesting trees in the front Heronry and with it, 6 nests. Hopefully the Herons will rebuild these nests and the Colony will continue to grow as it has each year since it started over 10 years ago.

Man threatens this unique and very special place this year. Shelby Twp. Parks & Recreation, with the help of all people, our own DNR, will be building a BIKE Pathway down the center of this small Park. They have been advised that this will destroy the Heronry due to the commotion and interruptions of constant moving Bikes, past this delicate place. It remains to be seen if the Township feels it is worth the gamble of loosing this special Heron nesting place for a silly BIKE Pathway.

Join Hiking Michigan on 3/23/13 for the annual Ashok-Save the Herons HIKE at Holland Ponds. You can download a Flyer with more details on the Hike here. ASHOK HERONS HIKE












You can also download the only map of the Park here. Hiking Michigan has GPSed the Park a number of times for the county and supplied the Shadbush Nature Center with Maps of Holland Ponds. Get a HOLLAND PONDS MAP HERE.


Each year we write a report on the nesting activities of that season of mating for the Herons at Holland Ponds. Here is that report from the close of the 2012 Heron nesting season.




  1. Thanks for the heads up! I knew they’d be back any day now. This is the first I’m hearing about a bike path at Holland Ponds though, and I don’t like it one bit. Any suggestions on a particular person at Shelby Twp to whom we should direct comments?

  2. Hi Kim…….You can head over to a site we maintain that has a deeper Editorial on what is happening at Holland Ponds and the new BIKE Pathway there. We posted in the most recent article, the people to contact about this huge gamble with the possible destruction of the herorny at the Park. http://riverbendshollandpondsparks.wordpress.com/

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