The local nonprofit Heron Habitat Helpers (HHH) is gearing up for another breeding season at Commodore Park and they’re looking for a new cohort of volunteers to help them monitor the heron colony.
Last year was one of the most successful seasons ever with 83 active nests and about 160 juveniles fledged. Each season, a group of HHH volunteers take shifts monitoring the Commodore Park heron colony, counting the nests and keeping an eye on each chick as it hatches.
“Each season, our monitoring team observes the colony and notes what the herons are doing in each nest. Are they courting? Incubating eggs? Feeding chicks? By noting the date of these events we can learn how long it takes for an egg to hatch, the duration of nesting season, how many chicks hatch, how many fledged, and yes, how many may have been taken by predators. The more we understand, the more we can help protect the colony.”Heron Habitat Helpers
The volunteer season runs from March until August and each volunteer commits to at least two to three hours, once per week or every other week depending on how many volunteers HHH has. The organization trains each volunteer, so no experience is necessary.
Along with looking for volunteers to help monitor the colony, HHH is looking for weeding and maintenance in five forest restoration sites in Magnolia. HHH’s native plant and habitat restoration team will lead the efforts and train all volunteers.
Heron Habitat Helpers is holding a volunteer open house this coming weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 10 from 11 a.m to 12:30 p.m. at Commodore Park (3330 W Commodore Way).