I can’t get enough of herons (I have a ton of photos). They’re fun to watch in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The Towpath in Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a perfect place to take a walk or get a run in. And it allows for the wonderful photographs.
I can arrange to sell you a high quality version with much better resolution for printing. You can see some of my other photos at my website, Michael Murray Photography. Or, email me at [email protected] or call 800-490-3350.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio is home to a variety of heron species, including the great blue heron, the black-crowned night-heron, and the green heron. These birds are a common sight in the park’s wetlands, rivers, and streams.
Physical traits and flight
Herons are large, wading birds with long necks, legs, and bills. They have long, broad wings that allow them to soar gracefully through the air. Herons typically fly with their necks outstretched and their legs tucked behind them.
Herons prefer to live in wetland habitats, such as marshes, swamps, and bogs. They also use rivers, streams, and lakes. Herons need access to water for hunting and bathing.
Herons are carnivores and their diet consists mainly of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. They use their long bills to spear their prey. Herons are ambush predators, and they often stand motionless in the water until prey comes within reach.
Herons typically nest in colonies, called heronries. Heronries are usually located in trees or shrubs near water. Herons build their nests out of sticks and twigs. The female heron lays 3-5 eggs, which are incubated by both parents. Heron chicks hatch after about 28 days.
Herons in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The great blue heron is the most common heron species in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Great blue herons are large, majestic birds with a wingspan of up to 7 feet. They have slate-gray plumage and a white crown. Great blue herons are often seen perched in trees or wading in shallow water.
Black-crowned night-herons are smaller than great blue herons, with a wingspan of up to 4 feet. They have dark brown plumage and a black crown. Black-crowned night-herons are most active at night, when they feed on fish, frogs, and other aquatic creatures.
Green herons are the smallest heron species in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, with a wingspan of up to 2 feet. They have green plumage and a long, sharp bill. Green herons are often seen perched on branches overhanging the water, where they wait to ambush their prey.
Where to see herons
Herons can be seen throughout CVNP, but some of the best places to see them include:
- The Bath Road Heronry: This heronry is located in Akron, Ohio, and it is one of the largest heronries in the Midwest. Great blue herons nest in the trees along Bath Road.
- The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail: This trail runs along the Ohio & Erie Canal, and it is a great place to see great blue herons, black-crowned night-herons, and green herons.
- The Cuyahoga River: The Cuyahoga River is home to all three heron species. Herons can be seen wading in the river and hunting for prey.
How to observe herons
When observing herons, it is important to be quiet and still. Herons are easily spooked, and they will fly away if they feel threatened. It is also important to stay a distance from herons, as they can be aggressive during nesting season.
Herons and the ecosystem
Herons play an important role in the ecosystem of CVNP. They help to control populations of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Herons are also a food source for other predators, such as hawks and eagles.
Herons are a beautiful and fascinating part of the wildlife in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visitors to the park can enjoy watching these elegant birds as they soar through the air and hunt for prey.
Here are some additional facts about herons in Cuyahoga Valley National Park:
- The first great blue heron nest in CVNP was recorded in 1985.
- The Bath Road Heronry is home to over 100 nesting pairs of great blue herons.
- Green herons are the most common heron species in Ohio, but they are also the most difficult to see because they are so small and well-camouflaged.
- Black-crowned night-herons are nocturnal birds, and they are most active at night.
- Herons are an important part of the ecosystem of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and they help to control populations of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.
Herons are a beautiful and important part of the wildlife in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Visitors to the park can enjoy watching these elegant birds as they soar through the air and hunt