History shows that these birds appear to choose the same location each year. Illustration © David Allen Sibley. Audubon protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Great Egrets occasionally nest on the ground or on artificial platforms. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too. They build platform nests made of sticks high in the treetops. Herons are delicate and tend to abandon nests and entire colonies if disturbed during periods of pair forming (starting mid-November), nest construction (starting in January), or early egg laying (as early as January). The most important factors to consider when evaluating these effects are the timing of the disturbance in relation to critical periods of the nesting season and the degree to which the birds are able to adjust to human activities. Common, especially in the south, it may wander far to the north in late summer. After breeding season, often wanders far to north in late summer. Fraida Gutovich/Audubon Photography Awards. Photo: Fraida Gutovich/Audubon Photography Awards. Return to general Tree Care and Bird Safety page. Spread the word. Some of the information on herons and cormorants is adapted from “Special Management Practices for Herons,” courtesy of Audubon Canyon Ranch. If you forget your password, click on the “forgot your password” link.) Tree trimming should generally not remove more than the minimum of foliage necessary for human health and safety, and should be done, where it is permitted, in a manner that does not unnecessarily discourage herons and egrets from returning to their altered (trimmed) habitat during the next breeding cycle. Lives of North American Birds. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. In 1930s and 1940s there were a few large northward invasions (e.g., over 1500 reached Massachusetts in 1948), but not recorded in such numbers since. The great egret (Ardea alba), also known as the common egret, large egret, or (in the Old World) great white egret or great white heron is a large, widely distributed egret, with four subspecies found in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe. Type in your search and hit Enter on desktop or hit Go on mobile device. Nest (built by both sexes) a platform of sticks, sometimes substantial. Learn more about these drawings. Incubation is by both sexes, 23-26 days. Populations were decimated by plume hunters in late 1800s, recovered rapidly with protection early in 20th century. Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives. Information on breeding activity from San Francisco Breeding Bird Atlas and from breeding bird atlas records. You can also sign up for our new GGAS Chat to get updates on trips, talk with other members, and more! When establishing a nest, Egrets are drawn to large, well-established trees, with dense networks of limbs conducive for protection when nesting. Nearly wiped out in the United States in the late 1800s, when its plumes were sought for use in fashion, the Great Egret made a comeback after early conservationists put a stop to the slaughter and protected its colonies; as a result, this bird became the symbol of the National Audubon Society. Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures. “Still undeveloped” is the key phrase here. Probably first breeds at age of 2-3 years. Seemingly innocuous activities can produce serious results. Want to avoid the noise, odor and other nuisances that come with rookeries? 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