The Heron Observation Network, created in 2009 by the state, has helped organize a statewide group of volunteers that will become particularly important in the next year. The result of their work has offered evidence that great blue herons (Ardea herodias) are in decline here. Since 2009 there has been an effort to survey herons after a wealth of data on bald eagles began to point to a decline in the heron populations in Maine. As bald eagle data was gathered over time, heron counts were added. Piggy-backing on the bald eagle study, the heron data began to show a surprising drop in the numbers of this prolific bird. In 2009, data was gathered by volunteers looking at heron nesting sites for the first time. Along the coast, biologists found little more than 400, a further drop from the 600 counted in 1995 in the eagle study.
Source: Portland Press Herald, 30 November 2013
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