Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 24

and also at night, especially in the moonlight.

COLONIAL BY NATURE
The great blue heron nests in colonies -
sometimes called rookeries or heronries -
comprised of large stick nests usually built
in trees. They are prominent structures,
often about 3 feet wide and 1 foot deep,
with three to four eggs. Most colonies
contain fewer than 50 nests, and many
are smaller than that. But some colonies
have exceeded 200 nests, sometimes with
several nests in one stout tree.
Pennsylvania's largest known great
blue heron colony is the Barrows colony
in Mercer County.
This colony has declined over the last
decade, but each colony seems to have
its own life cycle. For instance, trees
sometimes fail to support nests over time.
So, it's possible the decline is not a sign
of trouble.
Great blue herons might fly regularly
5 to 15 miles from a colony to hunt good
habitat. Some accounts report up to 50
miles. Ice cover forces most herons to
spend winter somewhere south of Pennsylvania. But they return to their nesting
grounds fairly early in spring, or during
a break in the weather.
New heron colonies are found each
Jacob Dingel

24

year in Pennsylvania. It's always a challenge to find them. If you happen upon a
colony, please take a moment to report it
to the Game Commission.

BACK FROM THE BRINK
Great blue herons are much more
common than back more than 50 years
ago, when I saw my first.
Great blues have had a long comeback
from the brink of eradication.
In his 1890 book The Birds of Pennsylvania, state ornithologist B.H. Warren
predicted this bird would be "only a rare
straggling visitant" sometime in future,
since its population and downward trend
were so poor at that time. And by the start
of the 20th century, great blue herons were
nearly extirpated from Pennsylvania.
Widespread water pollution, timbering and wetland destruction surely were
partly to blame for declines.
Herons also are sensitive to environmental contaminants, so DDT and other
chemicals took their toll on this species,
as was the case with other predatory birds,
such as eagles and ospreys.
Acid-mine drainage also is blamed
for the absence of great blues from some
sections of rivers.
The birds also were persecuted by
plume-hunters in the 19th and early 20th



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016

Table of Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - a
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - b
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - c
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - d
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - Table of Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 65
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2016 - 66
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