Shhh! Nesting herons need peace and quiet

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Great Blue Herons are nesting in the tall trees in Commodore Park, and we’d like to keep them there.

In February, the herons returned to their nesting site and spent several weeks courting mates for the season. On average, female herons lay three to five eggs and the male and female take turns incubating them. The eggs typically hatch in June or July, but those laid later in the season may not fledge until late summer.

The herons in Commodore Park built their nests in an area exposed to passersby, but that doesn’t mean they’re asking for visitors. Herons are easily frightened by loud noises or sudden disturbances and have been known to abandon their nests if spooked.

Seattle Parks and Recreation Resource Conservation Coordinator Barbara DeCaro asks park visitors be as quiet as possible and not make any sudden movements while the babies are present. The herons’ nests are very close to public viewing areas, sometimes as little as 30 feet, and it’s easy to unintentionally disturb them.

The Heron Habitat Helpers are monitoring the herons in Commodore Park this year. For more information about their work, click HERE.