OlyEcosystems approach to restoration and habitat conservation is based on scientific studies and data. We work closely with local scientists, consult college and university experts, and incorporate the latest research to inform our activities. In addition, several Board Members are Ph.D.-level scientists.

Science helps OlyEcosystems to:

  • maintain habitat for existing wildlife through conservation. 

  • increase habitat quality of currently undeveloped yet degraded woodlands. 

  • encourage responsible urban growth that accounts for both the intrinsic value of wildlife and the value of green space to the physical, social, and psychological well-being of our community.

  • connect science and data to inform and shape local, state, and federal policy.

Science and The Pacific Great Blue Heron

Butler R. W., Whitehead P. E., Breault A. M., & Moul I.E. (1995). Colony Effects on Fledging Success of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) in British Columbia. Colonial Waterbirds. 18(2), 159-165.


Burkholder G., & Smith D. G. (1991). Nest Trees and Productivity of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) at Knox Lake, north-central Ohio.

Colonial Waterbirds. 14(1), 61-62.


Critical Areas Ordinance Update. (2017, January 25)

Eissinger A. M. (2007). Great Blue Herons in Puget Sound. Seattle, Washington: Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


Gibbs J. P., Woodward S., Hunter M. L., & Hutchinson A. E. (1987). Determinants of Great Blue Heron Colony Distribution in Coastal Maine. The Auk.

104, 38-47.

Jones I. M., Butler R. W., & Ydenberg R. C. (2013). Recent Switch by the Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias fannini in the Pacific Northwest to Associate with Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) to Gain Predator Protection. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 91, 489-495.


Kalasz K. S. & Buchanan J. B. (2016) Periodic Status Review for Bald Eagle, Olympia, Washington: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.


Kelly J. P., Stralberg D., Etienne K., & McCaustland M. (2008). Landscape Influence on the Quality of Heron and Egret Colony Sites. Wetlands.

28(2), 257-275.


Kenyon J. K., Smith B. D., & Butler R. W. (2007). Can Redistribution of Breeding Colonies on a Landscape Mitigate Changing Predation Danger?

Journal of Avian Biology. 38, 541-551.

Knight E. C., Vennesland R. G., & Winchster N. N. (2016). Importance of Proximity to Foraging Areas for the Pacific Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias fannini) Nesting in a Developed Landscape. Waterbirds, 39(2), 165-174.

Skagen S. K., Melcher C. P., Muths E. (2001). The Interplay of Habitat Change, Human Disturbance and Species Interactions in a Waterbird Colony.

The American Midland Naturalist. 145(1), 18-28.

The Current Regulatory Landscape for Zostera japonica in Washington State. (2013, July 1).


Vennesland R. G. (2010). Risk Perception of Nesting Great Blue Herons: Experimental Evidence of Habituation. Canadian Journal of Zoology.

88, 81-89.

Vos D. K., Ryder R. A., & Graul W. D. (1987). Response of Breeding Great Blue Herons to Human Disturbances in Northcentral Colorado.

Colonial Waterbirds. 8(1), 13-22.

Additional Resources

Bayer R. D. (1981). Arrival and Departure Frequencies of Great Blue Herons at Two Oregon Estuarine Colonies. The Auk. 98, 589-595.

Buchanan J.B. (2006). Nearshore Birds in Puget Sound. Seattle, Washington: Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Dodd M. G., & Murphy T. M. (1995). Accuracy and Precision of Techniques for Counting Great Blue Heron Nests. Journal of Wildlife Management. 59(4), 667-673.


Erwin R. M., Hatfield J. S., & Wilmers T. J. (1994). The Value and Vulnerability of Small Estuarine Islands for Conserving Metapopulations of Breeding Waterbirds. Biological Conservation. 71, 187-191.

Kelly J. P., & Condeso T. M. (2014). Rainfall Effects on Heron and Egret Nest Abundance in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wetlands.

34, 893-903.


Kelly J. P., Etienne K., Strong C., McCaustland M., & Parkes M. L. (2007). Status, Trends, and Implications for the Conservation of Heron and Egret Nesting Colonies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Waterbirds. 30(4), 455-478.

Kelly J. P., Pratt H. M., & Greene P. L. (1993). The Distribution, Reproductive Success, and Habitat Characteristics of Heron and Egret Breeding Colonies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Colonial Waterbirds. 16(1), 18-27.

Krebs J. R. (1974). Colonial Nesting and Social Feeding as Strategies for Exploiting Food Resources in the Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). Behaviour. 51, 99-134.

Meserve Auclair M. M., Ono K. A., & Perlut N. G. (2015). Brood Provisioning and Nest Survival of Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron) in Maine.

Northeastern Naturalist. 22(2), 307-317.

Sullivan, J. P., & Payne, S. M. (1988). Aspects of History and Nestling Mortality at a Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias, Colony, Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario. Canadian Field-Naturalist. 102(2), 237-241.

Vennesland R. G. & Butler R. W. (2004) Factors Influencing Great Blue Heron Nesting Productivity on the Pacific Coast of Canada from 1998 to 1999. Waterbirds. 27(3) 289-296.