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Great Blue Hope

The great blue heron, one of our largest, most picturesque avian migrants, stands more than a metre tall. It breeds from March to May throughout southern Canada after trekking 3,000 to 4,000 kilometres from Texas, Florida, Mexico, or South America. Herons typically nest in treetop colonies of 20 to 40 birds on islands, peninsulas, shorelines, and beaver ponds. They abandon these sites as nesting trees rot and fall to the ground.

You can slow or halt a colony’s decline. Guard nests in living trees from beavers by wrapping sheet metal around the bases of trunks to prevent them from being felled. Replace collapsed trees with nesting platforms to greatly extend the life of a colony. The following nesting structure will accommodate not only great blue herons but also black-crowned night-herons and double-crested cormorants.

Great Blue Heron nest schematics

Materials (sold in imperial measures)

A 1” x 2” x 40” E 1” x 1” x 19”
B 2” x 2” x 30” F 1” x 1” x 18”
C 2” x 2” x 7’ G/H 1” x 2” x 27”
D 1” x 1” x 20” I 30’ long x 8 to 10” in diameter