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Conserving wildlife habitat, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space, wetlands, and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations.

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Heron Nest Count

In early December, Skagit Land Trust and several volunteers completed the annual Great Blue Heron nest count over two days. This event is part of an ongoing citizen science effort led by the Trust to monitor the population size of the heronry at March Point, one of the largest heronries on the west coast. Volunteers count the number of nests in each tree in the heronry, some trees are home to over 20 nests!

While the total number of nests fluctuates over time due to a variety of factors, there was an increase in the number of nests between 2019 and 2020 signifying that the heron population likely increased. In the fall of 2019, volunteers counted 681 Great Blue Heron nests. In 2020, 706 nests were counted - an increase of 25 nests. We conduct the annual nest count early winter so that we do not disturb the herons during nesting season. The Great Blue Herons are nesting from February through August. Soon you may notice large groups of herons preparing for nesting season. Thank you to our citizen science volunteers, we appreciate your help collecting this important data!

SLT Conservation Project Manager Kari Odden, and Bob Carey recording data in the field.

Volunteer George looking for trees with nests in them.

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