San Mateo County, California
SAS Conservation News
Egret/heron rookery at the Port of Redwood City
In June 2012 an egret and heron breeding colony was discovered at the Seaport Center and Port property in the tall trees mostly along Chesapeake Drive, with the largest concentration at the intersection of Saginaw Drive and Chesapeake Drive. Last year's colony was large and thriving with a total of 75 nests.
The three bird species in this rookery were Black-crowned Night Heron (49 nests), Snowy Egret (18 nests), and Great Egret (8 nests).
We are hopeful for another productive year beginning this Spring.
SAS would like to offer education and outreach opportunities for the community at the site during the height of the breeding season. We plan to have a table staffed by volunteers 2 days a week for a few hours with information, art materials for children to draw the birds, and a scope for better viewing.
UPDATE: As of this writing, May 26, 2014, the nesting Snowy and Great Egrets and Black-crowned Night-Herons are attracting lots of attention. According to the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, who have been overseeing monitoring of colonial nesting sites in the bay area since 1982, the number of nests in this survey area are down from last year. SAS is working with SFBBO to expand the rookery monitoring circle to include the nests outside of the previous count trees. Hopefully this will provide a more accurate picture of the colony to answer the question: Are there fewer nesting herons and egrets, or are they dispersing along the adjacent street trees?
SAS is working to inform the managers of the port and neighboring businesses about the nesting birds in their midst, and why they are worth protecting. If you would like to volunteer for this project, please contact Sue Cossins firstname.lastname@example.org.
This photo, taken by Pati Rouzer, shows some of the 20 staff members from the nearby Marine Science Institute using scopes that SAS provided, while learning about the breeding, nesting strategies, feeding and the complexity and challenges of the wildlife-urban interface.
Audubon Canyon Ranch announces a delay in the 2014 Public Season Opening at the Martin Griffin Preserve in Stinson Beach
ACR, a leader in conservation science, habitat protection and restoration, and nature education, announced that it has postponed the opening of its 1,000-acre West Marin preserve for its 2014 Public Season due a 100% nesting failure in the heronry during the 2013 nesting season.
Martin Griffin Preserve could open April 19 if at least 32 pairs of egrets have established nests on the preserve, or in the nearby Bolinas Lagoon area, and are incubating eggs or caring for young.
ACR's elementary school program, which serves thousands of children each year from throughout the Bay Area, will be moved to an adjacent canyon within the Martin Griffin Preserve, Volunteer Canyon, to continue providing top quality nature education without a lapse in programming.
These actions will minimize human activity near the heronry and promote natural elements of the sanctuary that may persuade more herons or egrets to initiate new nests this spring.
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