Friday, June 19, 2009
West 9th Street Egrets
Here in Sonoma County, California, there is lots of farmland, open space, and a seasonal wetland (that may be the wrong term) called the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Great habitats for all sorts of creatures, including egrets and herons. But where does one large group of them nest every year? About a block away from my house in Santa Rosa, on a group of trees that are in the median strip of a 4 lane road!
They've been coming to this same group of trees since the 80's. There are plenty of other tall trees nearby, including some on Santa Rosa creek, but these birds prefer living in the hood. The city closes two of the 4 lanes beneath the trees for about 4 months every year while the birds nest and raise their babies. It's quite a mess beneath the trees, and a cacophony of very strange sounds. There are snowy egrets, great egrets and a few night and green herons too. There are 4 trees that are just loaded with birds, it's quite a site and draws birders from all over. I went with my mom and sister to see them nesting out at Audobon Canyon Ranch in Marin county a few years ago, but while the setting was nicer, the birds were closer and easier to see in my own back yard.