Our Bolinas Lagoon Heron and Egret nesting updates have begun! Highlights from February from ACR Avian Ecologist Scott Jennings:
As February progressed there was increased activity and an initiation of nesting behavior by Great Blue Herons at the Bolinas Colony. The beautiful weather early in the month was met with 4-5 occupied territories in the tall Bishop Pines lining the channel of the lagoon that separates Kent Island from Downtown Bolinas. However, the strong south and east winds that came along with some mild rain in the middle of the month blew right in to the colony, driving the Herons down into the more-sheltered branches below where the nests are located, and onto the mudflats of Kent Island. At the close of the month, 3 nests appeared to be in the incubation stage, and another 6 nests were occupied by single Herons or pairs. Pairs were observed copulating, and numerous birds were seen pulling sticks from last year’s nests to add to their own.
A group of approximately 40 Snowy Egrets continues to forage together at various places around Kent Island, offering excellent observation from the Bolinas Wharf. Smaller numbers of Great Egrets have also been foraging around the lagoon, especially in the tidal flats between Kent Island and Pine Gulch Creek. An immature Bald Eagle was observed on at least 3 occasions by multiple people during February, though for the most part it (they) has kept to the East of Kent Island, away from the Heronry. There continues to be no observed Heron or Egret activity at the historic Pitcher Canyon colony, though it is still somewhat early in the season to expect to see Great Egrets occupying territories.
Keep up to date throughout the season by checking our Heronry page at http://egret.org/thebirds