An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Great Blue Herons Building & Renovating Nests

5-6-19 great blue heron with white pine2_U1A7932A visit to a Great Blue Heron colony at this time of year will be rewarded with a great deal of avian activity, for their nesting season has begun and renovations are going full tilt. Males usually arrive first and settle on nests (more often as not using a different nest from last year) or begin building their own. Courtship then begins.

Great Blue Heron nests are found primarily in trees, up to 60 feet or more above the ground. Where trees are not available, herons will nest on the ground (usually only on predator-free islands). Males gather sticks and other nesting materials from the ground, nearby trees and shrubs, or from unguarded and abandoned nests, and females are usually responsible for the placement of the sticks into the nest. Nests are often reused for many years. Pictured is a Great Blue Heron returning to its nest with a branch from a White Pine tree which will be used for lining the nest. Nesting material is added throughout the nesting period.

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7 responses

  1. Willem Lange

    If you ever doubt the connection between pteranodons and birds, a visit to a great blue rookery will convince you.

    May 8, 2019 at 7:58 am

  2. What a great photo!

    May 8, 2019 at 8:02 am

  3. Alice Pratt

    What a beautiful place to have a nest/home, near the water, with a ‘bird’s eye view’. The cleverness & adeptness of birds to build nests, more than amazing.

    May 8, 2019 at 8:22 am

  4. Bill On The Hill

    I have seen this first hand Mary back in the day when driving big trucks along the route 7 corridor in S. VT. Without spelling out exactly where, I have seen colonies of these magnificent birds doing exactly what your photograph illustrates. I have a full file folder on Great Blues shot from my kayak in both VT & NH on various ponds & reservoirs.
    I would rate this bird high up on my list of all time favorites!
    Great post & a beautiful image…
    Bill… :~)

    May 8, 2019 at 11:57 am

  5. Pam

    The Blue Heron picture is glorious!

    May 10, 2019 at 11:23 am

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