Volunteers Essential for Keeping an Eye on Maine's Herons

Now that winter has finally decided to show up in Maine, I figured I should report on our 2016 field season before the 2017 season is knocking at our door. I guess it takes a blizzard to get me to stay put long enough to enter and analyze the past year’s volunteer monitoring data! The Heron Observation Network’s volunteers have been monitoring great blue heron colonies across Maine for eight years now, and this past year’s effort was just as important as the first year of monitoring.

Tracking Maine's Great Blue Herons - Online!

This spring, MDIFW tagged five adult great blue herons with GPS transmitters as part of an ongoing effort to better understand the state’s great blue heron population. After a significant decline in the number of nesting pairs on Maine’s coastal islands from the 1980s to 2007, MDIFW listed the great blue heron as a Species of Special Concern and began a citizen science adopt-a-colony program called the Heron Observation Network.

Photos From 2015

This video is a showcase of photos taken by volunteers and staff throughout the 2015 colony monitoring season. It is 9 minutes long, complete with music, captions, and photo credits. Thank you to everyone who shared your magnificent photos for inclusion. Think Spring!

HERON Volunteers Fill Crucial Information Gaps

[caption id="attachment_1318" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Great blue heron nest discovered and photographed by Paul Cyr.[/caption] This past spring while I was focused on completing an extensive aerial survey effort to estimate the statewide breeding population of great blue herons, 76

Nature’s Beauty Inspires Linda Panzera’s Photographs and her Generosity to Maine’s Wildlife

[caption id="attachment_1309" align="alignleft" width="225"] HERON volunteer, Linda Panzera, with camera in hand while observing a great blue heron colony.[/caption] One of the best aspects about running a citizen science program such as the Heron Observation Network is m

On the Hunt for Heron Foraging Locations

[caption id="attachment_1277" align="aligncenter" width="879"] Photo series by Doug Albert.[/caption] We are looking for volunteers willing to scope out areas habitually used by foraging great blue herons in anticipation of a potential research project aimed at tracking adults with satellite transmitters.  By partnering with

Biologists Take to the Air to Estimate Maine’s Heron Population

[caption id="attachment_1263" align="alignleft" width="300"] This is a typical "fly-by" view of a great blue heron colony. How many nests do you see?

Photos from 2014

    As a big THANK YOU to all HERON volunteers who monitored colonies, and to the landowners who allowed access, I've put together a slide show, "Photos from 2014".  Check it out by clicking on the picture below, and be sure to have your volume un-muted because there is accompanying music.  ENJOY!

HERON's Sixth Year Marked by More Volunteers and More Colonies

[caption id="attachment_1191" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo by Victor Morin[/caption] In only six years, the Heron Observation Network grew from 78 to 246 volunteer members! Just as Dr.

First Field Visit a Rewarding One

[caption id="attachment_1089" align="alignleft" width="300"] Volunteer, Rick Lawrence and technician, Brittany Currier, making observations from the wetland edge.[/caption] This Thursday, I had the pleasure of going out in the field with volunteer, Rick Lawrence, and technician, Brittany Currier.  This was my first heron colony visit o