Friday, June 28, 2013
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron colony failure- due to movie set?
Today I went to check on the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron colony over Dodge Avenue in Old Jefferson, where I found 22 nests with young last year at the end of May. It is in the first block north of Jefferson Highway, in a stand of large live oaks that arch over the road and median. This is the largest nesting cluster of the species I have been able to find in the metro area.
Today I could see 14 nests that appeared to be from this year- but I did not see any birds, and there was very little whitewash on the ground. Whitewash is usually a good way to confirm nests advancing well into the nestling stage.
So, it looks like this colony produced few young this year, if any.
A friendly homeowner said that about six weeks ago, the colony site was used for a movie shoot- crammed with vehicles, and working after dark. My impression was it took several days. I have to think this is the prime candidate for the reason for the colony's failure this year.
Perhaps it happened early enough that they simply relocated somewhere else and renested?
Sad, but there are still lots of this species around.
A list of colony sites is on page 23 in Birding Made Easy.
for a copy of Birding Made Easy-New Orleans, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or look for it at the Maple Street Book Shop or Garden District Book Shop.