The other day someone wrote your column about seeing the many great blue herons together.
Have I got a treat for you!
A great blue heron rookery exists in the eucalyptus trees at EBMUD Watershed Headquarters in Orinda, Calif. I checked it out the past 2 years in the spring and it is amazing!
The nests are huge and numerous. At least 30 last year. And when the chicks hatch, and during fledging, it is a very noisy place. Just amazing to watch the adults fly in and out with fish and the like for the babies. And a great blue heron learning to fly (or, crash through the branches) is a sight to behold.
I checked about a week ago to see if babies were about yet and they weren’t, but even so, could see adults in the nests high in the eucalyptus trees. Perhaps sitting on eggs?
Well worth you time to visit this local gem.
Lisa Libby Albert, cyberspace
I’m familiar with this particular great blue heron nesting site. I first heard of it around 1970. Looks like when these birds like a place they REALLY like it. Almost 40 years, probably longer. Wow.
If anyone is interested in checking out this rookery, I suggest you contact the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s Watershed headquarters and make sure it’s OK. If they say yes, bring your binoculars and keep your distance so you don’t disturb the birds.
Yes, they’re probably incubating their eggs right now, but they should be hatching soon.
The Bolinas Lagoon Preserve at Audubon Canyon Ranch in Marin County also supports a major heronry of great blue herons and great and snowy egrets. It is an amazing place to behold and if anyone wants to go crazy watching nesting great blues, great and snowy egrets … this is DEFINITELY the place to go!
You can find out more about it here, including maps and directions on how to get there: http://www.egret.org/bolinas_lagoon.html
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve is located just 30 miles north of San Francisco on Highway One, between Stinson Beach and Olema.
Have fun! /Gary