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Deer Lake Association
A member of the Minnesota Lakes Association

Great Blue Heron Rookery

near Deer Lake

 

Did you ever wonder where all our Deer Lake Herons come from? 

The Stork brought them! 

There is a Great Blue Heron Rookery very near Deer Lake in the midst of a swamp with many dead ash trees standing isolated and protected.  The herons breed in pairs together in a community of families.  Most seem to have two, sometimes three chicks.  Before they fledge the chicks stay in the nest and await delivery of their meals from their parents who likely have fished nearby Deer Lake.  As you can see in the photographs, the chicks are nearly adult in size by early July.  They will soon take filght and leave the nest untl next spring.  The Rookery seen here has been active for many, many years. This year (2009) at least seven nesting pairs have been seen in this Rookery.

More about Great Blue Herons

Winter:

 

MAY 10:adults

 

 JULY 5: chicks

 

The End of the Rookery

Unfotunately, there was a very difficult and late spring in 2013.  The Herons returned to their home only to find the lakes still frozen and the nests all covered with a great dael of snow.  At it's height the year before there were at least 40 viable nests, most of which had a resident.  Today most of nests have blown down along with many of the standing dead ash trees in the swamp.  Below is a winter photo of one of the very few remaining nests.  The herons apparently have found a new rookery somewhere, since they still ply the skies and waters of Deer Lake.