Nesting Colony Site at Risk

Photo by J. Roberson Photography

In 2019, most of the herons and egrets did not return to the nesting colony behind the Tuscaro Apartments in the North Natomas area of Sacramento. The birds were found to be nesting nearby, at a large pond adjacent to the parking lot at Sleep Train Arena. This was great news for the birds, as the Tuscaro site has concrete below many of the trees, resulting in many injured babies, and human activity putting the birds at further risk. The new site is “no trespassing” and is a great habitat – therefore no rescue efforts are necessary!

BUT… we found out that plans have been filed by the owners to develop the property, including the pond. The pond was not even mentioned on the first environmental impact report filed with the City of Sacramento! We estimate that the site is home to upwards of 500 nesting pairs of herons and egrets. If the pond were to be filled in and built upon, these birds would have to find a new nesting area, which would be bad news for the birds, and for the homes and businesses in the area.

It is common for herons and egrets to move into a neighborhood when the trees of their nesting site have been removed. This often results in a bad situation for both birds and people. For example, at the nesting colony we work with in the Pocket area of South Sacramento, the birds nest along busy streets and apartment complexes. The baby birds fall out of the tall trees and hit the concrete, are hit by cars and are sometimes harassed or injured by humans. Some of the residents have complained due to the birds’ feces raining down from the trees, the noise, and the injured and deceased babies on the ground.

There is a solution that will benefit both humans and birds – preserving the pond site. SHER is working on a plan to preserve this precious natural resource, but we need to show the community’s support. You can show your support HERE. To learn more about the pond click HERE.

Photo by J. Roberson Photography

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