Blue Heron nesting in Marymoor Dog Park

SPRING/SUMMER 2012 :   In February, a group of Blue Heron started gathering in the tall cottonwood trees at one of the busiest intersections of the Dog Park near the Main Beach.  Soon they were pairing-up and flying-in twigs and small branches to build 11 nests in the tallest tree branches.  Herons nest in colonies called “rookeries” or “heronries”.   This is very exciting as Blue Heron have not nested at Marymoor in at least 20 years!   The “heronry” area has now been temporarily fenced-off to keep people and dogs from getting too close.  The baby’s began hatching in May.  Now they are getting big and sqwauking loudly when parents feed them.  Some babies may fall out of the nests before they can fly.  This is a natural part of heron nesting.  The most important thing is to let the herons handle the situaton themselves.  The parents may come down and tend to a fallen baby if they feel they can do so safely.  So if you see a baby heron on the ground, make sure neither you nor your dogs get close.  PLEASE leave the baby heron alone so that nature can take its course.  Great Blue Heron eat mostly fish, but also frogs, voles, etc.  They are almost 4 feet tall, with a 6 foot wingspan, but weigh less than 5.5 pounds.  They lay 3-5 eggs per nest and both parents tend to the young.  The eggs hatch about one month after they are laid and the young will be free flying about two months later.  Nesting should be complete by the end of July.

 

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