Great Blue Herons: return to Carter Fields!

March 22, 2016 in Nearby Waterbirds

CF2C4203-001The Great Blue Heron, is a slender and elegant water bird with a lavender hue and a long pointed beak, and makes its nest in the tops of dead trees in wetlands.

Recently, there have between 40 and 50 active great blue heron nests in a rookery at Carter Fields, an 85-acre parcel of land with a huge beaver pond in North Andover at the Boxford line.  This year, it looks like we’ll have maybe active 10 nests. The land is owned by the Essex County Greenbelt Association, a nonprofit organization that owns thousands of acres in Essex County for the purpose of preserving natural habitats, the county’s agricultural heritage and scenic landscapes.

Herons typically do not migrate far. Adults will return to their previous nests, fix them up and reuse them to raise a new brood. The females lay between three and seven eggs in late March or early April, and the chicks hatch by May.

Great Blue Herons – West Boxford

April 20, 2012 in Nearby Waterbirds

The Great Blue Herons are busy building their nests at the heron rookery located on the North Andover/West Boxford town line.  Currently, there are about 40 nesting pairs of Great Blue Herons with most females already incubating eggs.  They continue to fortify their nests with new branches secured nearby and transported back to the nest.  Most of the massive stick platform nests are in tall, dead, white pine trees that are surrounded by shallow water below.  The herons spend a great deal of time on nest construction or repair from off season damage.  Besides feeding each other, a great deal of time is spent on preening and hanging out.  Great Blue Herons typically produce clutch sizes of four eggs!

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