Heronry Restoration

  • Location
    Maple Lake, Minnesota
  • Status

The Problem

We are going to determine whether it is a responsible decision to install man made wooden platforms for nesting herons at a pond on our school campus. The herons have lost over 2/3 of their nesting platforms over the past few years due to the dead and decaying trees in the pond falling down. They are beginning to nest alongside the pond which makes them more susceptible to predators.

Our Plan

We are gathering information on the local herons, which species are they, what are their habits, and how has the habitat changed over the past ten years. With the help of a community expert, we will determine if we should build and install nesting platforms to support the local ecology. The pond is a half mile walk from our classroom. Our expenses are as follows: We would like to use a drone to observe the nests from above. And we will need to purchase wood and supplies to build the platforms. We will determine how to bore the holes before we attempt to have the platforms stand up. *I have edited this to explain the directions this project has taken. Our community expert, Stan Tekiela, just published a book on herons, egrets, and cranes. You can find photos of our heronry in his book. He has been photographing the rookery for over 10 years and says the herons are doing great! They are beginning to nest in the trees near the pond. What's not doing so well are the ground nesting prairie birds in the 5 acres near the pond. Bobolinks, meadowlarks, and dickcissels have lost their habitat in just the past year. The camp we are leasing from has done two things that harmed them. They planted corn in former nesting areas. And they hay the pasture area in June, effectively chopping up the birds in their nests. If we can convince them to do their first haying in July, it would solve the problem.

Themes Addressed

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The Benefit

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