Welcome to the chatroom for the Great Blue Heron nest cams at the Trevor Zoo and thank you for watching. Each season is an educational experience for us as well as all of our viewers including many children watching in classrooms. It is important to remember that these are wild herons that just happen to have found the Spruce treetops within the zoo as good nesting sites since the spring of 2010. As such we do not interfere with the nests in any way other than placing the cameras prior to nesting season. We are a public facility so there are activities every day on the ground, but the birds seem to adjust to that very well.
Each season presents us with the opportunity to observe these beautiful birds and learn about their biology. We have observed both an adult and a fledgling eat a chickadee, have witnessed a case of siblicide, and this season we have a chick that has a partially deformed leg. These are all natural events that occur at some level in nature every season. Some of what we observe may be new knowledge and sometimes an outcome may not be predictable. For example, it remains to be seen how the chick with the deformed leg will perform. There are examples of wildlife with deformities that do quite well and those that do not. Only time will tell how this chick does in the long run.
We want our chatroom to be a community place where all can learn, have fun, and perhaps even make new friends. Our chatroom norms are:
• that we are respectful of nature and write observations and questions with appropriate language that reflects our thanks to these birds for letting us peek into their lives (they don’t have to nest here in view of these cameras).
• that we respect the other chatters remembering that everyone brings different levels of knowledge and experience to the table.
• that we strive to minimize “humanizing” the herons as nature can be a difficult place for any species and things will happen that will be unpleasant or uncomfortable for some viewers and not others, especially the feeling that we should do something (about whatever the observation is).
• that we all try to be educational in our posts to questions that arise remembering that we do have classrooms that enjoy these cams as part of their curriculum.
• Lastly, that we keep this a fun and safe place for all. Other than friendly greetings and general community chat, issues that do not pertain to the birds or questions about them should be addressed in private chats to allow for privacy and candid discussions.