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Viewing great blue herons

 


The March Point Heronry is the largest heron nesting site on the west coast of the United States and provides critical genetic diversity for the health of these beloved local birds. Due to the sensitive nature of the nesting herons, the land the March Point Heronry is located on is?closed?to public access. Human disturbance can lead to unsuccessful breeding or colony abandonment. Skagit Land Trust manages the March Point Conservation Area and asks that the public please respect the closed status of this critical nesting area. However, the Trust is pleased to invite you to watch real-time livestreamed videos from inside this important local heronry by visiting skagitlandtrust.org.

This spring Skagit Land Trust launched an updated wildlife camera system in the Trust’s March Point Conservation Area. The system features three cameras spread across 15 acres of conserved land that the Trust protects for great blue herons. The cameras are mounted high up in the canopy and offer the public a birds-eye view of nesting herons during the breeding season. An additional camera provides audio and monitors any activity inside the heronry.

Skagit Land Trust also coordinates teams of community science volunteers who use the camera system to observe the behavior of the birds during courtship and egg laying, heron hatching and finally young heron fledging and leaving the colony.

These volunteer teams can now look at nearly 350 nests in the herons via camera.

They count eggs, chicks and those hatchlings that survive through fledging.

As a large contributor to the gene pool of the Salish Sea Great Blue Heron, this data contributes valuable information about the health of the colony.

If you are interested in volunteering with these efforts, please reach out to Skagit Land Trust’s Volunteer and Education Programs Coordinator, Stacy Dahl at [email protected]

Skagit Land Trust is a local nonprofit conservation organization supported by over 1,800 individuals, families and businesses that protect important natural lands for the benefit of the community and for current and future generations of people and wildlife. Working with communities, landowners and partners, the Trust has helped protect more than 10,000 acres of land and 48 miles of marine and freshwater shoreline in Skagit County. For more information about the March Point Heronry and Conservation Area visit http://www.skagitlandtrust.org.

Laura Hartner

Skagit Land Trust

 

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