Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Blue Heron

Heron Nests, Black Riparian Forest
Approx. 120 active Great Blue Heron nests in Black Cottonwoods trees along the Black River in Renton, WA
Photo by Brewbooks

Right here in Renton you can find a small bit of forest land that has been set aside for the nesting of Great Blue Herons. It is called the Black River Riparian Forest, and is just off Grady Way with a left swing onto S.W. Oakesdale. But don't count on me for the directions, check out this site, http://www.heronsforever.org/, which offers a couple of different approaches to take and a list of reminders for you when you head out to the trail (ie - take your cell and binoculars).

Friends of mine have been heading over for the last week or so to see if they could catch a glimpse of the birds. This area hosts not only the Great Blue Heron, but also a pair of bald eagles. This began back in the 90's. At first, the pair of eagles ate a lot of the heron eggs and all but chased the big blue birds away. Then in 2000, the Herons returned and I am guessing a mutual habitat must have been formed.

In the summertime, there are a couple of Great Blue Herons that can be seen on the Cedar River. One likes to come in the late afternoon in the bushes just below Jones Park on Wells Street. The other I often saw further downstream near the bridge from Boeing that crosses the Cedar. Such a large and graceful thing of beauty, I am always simply stunned when I am honored with a sighting.

To look at some lovely photos of the birds themselves, feel free to check out this link here. I have also noticed that the author, Dan Streiffert, of this link lead a bike tour through the auspices of the Sierra Club to the forest at the end of last month. Wouldn't that be fun!!

Renton is still such a wondrous place with many natural treasures to find and explore. I hope you head out soon to check out this one.
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Anonymous said...

Brandie was just telling us about these nests. I have seen those herons you are talking about in the Cedar River and I have also seen one in the summer time at the watershed area at Maple Valley Hwy and 140th Ave. I think I will take Sammy here tmw.

Anonymous said...

I have never been, but Brandie has also told me about it. I think Brandie is Renton's Blue Heron sightseeing official.

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