Whew! Someone must have flipped the switch on springtime activities because nesting season has begun in full force at the Great Blue Heron Rookery in Ashburn!
There are well over 50 nests in the Sycamore trees that tower over that forest and more than half of those nests have already been claimed!
The herons we’re seeing on the nests are in full breeding plummage, which is gorgeous! They are staking out their nest territories, fighting each other off as they jockey for the highest nests in the trees.
Great Blue Herons reuse nests each year, adding on to existing nests, and building new ones as needed. They’re communal nesters which makes watching the rookery so fascinating!
If you want to watch these stories play out, grab your binoculars. There’s a tiny parking area at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Marblehead Drive.
You can watch them making repairs to the nests by bringing in sticks and having little tiffs with each other.
What I am especially amazed by is how they can fly in and land on what looks like the lightest twig, and barely bend it!
Nesting season is a touchy time. It’s important that people stay a good distance away from the rookery so the birds are not spooked from their nests. Watching from this pull-off is the perfect spot – both for us and the Great Blue Herons. Binoculars are all you need and you’ll see all the action perfectly.
Watch our programs calendar for opportunities to go out with us to watch the Great Blue Herons. We’ll bring spotting scopes which make it that much more of an amazing sight.