The local great blue heron population has been relocating their nesting sites due to an increase in eagle predation, and a local group is asking Ballard and Magnolia residents for help with finding their new nesting locations. According to the Heron Habitat Helpers, the majority of 90-plus heron nests established this spring in Kiwanis Reserve near Discovery Park have failed due to eagles preying on their eggs and chicks. The group is asking that residents report sightings of herons carrying twigs and building new nests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pam Cahn with the Heron Habitat Helpers reported that most of the herons have abandoned the colony due to the increased predation, and an undetermined number of nests, some with chicks that have hatched, remain. Cahn also reported that in the last few days, there’s been an increase in heron nest-building activity at Commodore Park. She believes those new nests are being built by the displaced Kiwanis Reserve herons.
The Heron Habitat Helpers say that people in the area can help track the nesting activity by watching for herons in flight carrying small sticks and twigs and noting approximately where the birds land. They note that the herons nest in both deciduous and coniferous trees.
Photo courtesy Heron Habitat Helpers’ webcam