Sisters Country birds


Last updated 3/26/2024 at 1:30pm

Photo by Douglas Beall

Great Blue Heron.

Wading along rivers, streams, and lakes is America's largest heron, the Great Blue - possessing a wingspan of up to 79 inches and a height of 40 to 53 inches. Around Sisters, they can often be seen in wheat and grass fields feeding on moles, gophers, frogs, insects and ground squirrels. Also Great Blues can be seen overhead soaring slowly, traveling to their nests or new feeding areas, such as your backyard pond.

They will form rookeries in mature forests in which large stick nests - two to three feet wide - are built for two to six eggs, and to accommodate their fast growing chicks which are fed in the nest for up to 80 days. This community nesting has up to 500 nests and will erupt into loud guffawing when disturbed. Clear cutting and construction near a colony are particularly damaging, and a 1,000 feet buffer zone is recommended. In recent years Great Blue Heron colonies are becoming smaller, numbering 100-200 birds. A group of herons are called a "sedge," a "flock," a "stand," or a "siege."

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