The Black-crowned Night Heron rookery at the Smithsonian National Zoological park is thriving strong and well this spring.
Wild as they may be, these birds have coming to the National Zoo for over 100 years to raise their young. As the only rookery in the Washington DC area, the next closest place known for them to breed is in Baker Park in Frederick, Maryland.
In spite of the multitude of people, and activity around them the herons feel safe at the zoo. Early this spring (2017) the zoo will be closing the bird area for reconstruction of the bird house and exhibit area. Many of the birds have already been moved out, fostered by other zoos and locations. The project will take approximately three years and the estimated reopening is in 2020.
As this rookery has been accustomed to change, and with the watchful eyes of the bird zoo keepers, I’m sure the herons will survive the upheaval and appreciate their new habitat once it’s finished.