The N.C. Wildlife Federation and its local chapter, Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, have erected two heron rookeries on Lake Norman.
With help from certified biologists, volunteers designed and constructed the platforms and Lancaster Custom Dock & Lift Systems, Inc. built the 30-foot poles and attached the 18 nesting platforms.
A grant from the Habitat Enhancement Program of the Catawba-Wateree is supporting the heron rookery initiative as well osprey nesting platform sites, wood duck nesting boxes, turtle basking platforms and efforts to enhance fish habitat and restore eroded shorelines, said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the N.C. Wildlife Federation.
The rookeries are protected under the Colonial Waterbird Nesting Area Program. The boundaries of the habitat areas are posted, and no entry is allowed during the water bird nesting season from April through August, Gestwicki said.
Great blue herons are listed by the N.C. Natural Heritage Program as a vulnerable species in the Piedmont due to loss and fragmentation of habitats by development along rivers, reservoirs and floodplain forests. The species is protected under migratory bird protection laws with added protections -- no entry -- for nesting sites between April and the end of August.
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