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Who’s Back?

January 10, 2019

The herons, that’s who!

Last week the Great Blue Herons, Ardea herodias, returned to their favorite nesting tree by the lake.

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Because herons can grow to 5 feet tall, they need to make nests large enough to fit everyone. These huge bundles of sticks high in the trees are a striking sight. If there are enough trees around, and enough feeding grounds, several families of herons will nest in colonies.

And they like to re-use old nests. After they refurbish their nests for the new season, they lay their eggs, then spend the next few months raising their very large babies. This job involves catching a whole lot of fish dinners.

So watch for long-legged birds with s-curved necks flying over lakes with fish in their mouths, or look for them stalking silently in the shallow waters at the edge of streams or marshes.

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