Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
If you would like guaranteed, solid-gold, top-notch, unbeatable bird-watching, keep the North Mississippi Regional Park in mind in as we move into summer. There's a Great Blue Heron rookery here, on a river island about 100 feet from a paved walking path. Access is from park trails, the hike from parking at the visitor's center about 3/8 mile. Viewing couldn't be better. Here is a link to a map of the park's location:
The island is east of the visitor's center, almost due north of 45th Street, which intersects Lyndale Avenue on the south side of I-94W.
There are about 60 nests in colony, with perhaps half of those expected to be active. Half a dozen birds were loafing on nests Saturday (March 20) morning. All nesting birds are expected to return to the rookery in the next two weeks. The park has a special "Heron Homecoming" event scheduled for Saturday, April 3 ($5 fee for this event).
The park itself is a marvelous place, bordering the river for a long stretch, with river-bottom woodland, and even a small piece of prairie. Paved walking paths are numerous. The park should offer good general birding opportunities as migrant songbirds move into the area in late April and early to mid-May.
The Great Blue Heron in the photo is not a park rookery member.
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