The Natural Resources Conservation Service is trying to preserve blue heron habitat at a reservoir near Sundance by building artificial structures for the birds to nest on.
Habitat extension biologist Todd Caltrider is leading the effort. He says when the reservoir was created in the 1960s, native cottonwood trees, which is where the herons live, were flooded. Since then, the trees have been dying.
“There’s only about five trees left, and there’s very few branches left on them,” Caltrider said. “So they’re kind of running out of room to nest.”
Caltrider says new cottonwoods will be planted, but it will take time for new trees to grow. In the meantime, he’s working with the local power company to install electrical poles with platforms where the birds can nest.