ATC installs nesting platforms in Ashwaubomay Park
American Transmission Co. and its construction partner, M.J. Electric LLC, recently installed five nesting poles at the north end of the 80-acre Ashwaubomay Park in Ashwaubenon, Wis.
The poles were installed near the confluence of Ashwaubomay Creek and the Fox River. Each pole contains three nesting platforms, which are installed at different angles to mirror the offset tree branches herons and egrets prefer.
“We’re thrilled to add these nesting platforms to Ashwaubomay Park to help further increase avian use and wildlife habitat in the Fox Cities area,” said Rex Mehlberg, director of Parks, Recreation & Forestry for the village of Ashwaubenon. “We’ve seen great blue herons and great egrets in the area and hope that this will entice them to raise their young here.”
Great blue herons and great egrets nest colonially near creeks, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Their group of nests is referred to as a rookery based upon the colonial nests of the Eurasian rook, a common bird like a crow that makes a “rook” sound. Rookeries are large, often containing several hundred nests that are used year after year. A rookery location is chosen for its access to food and isolation from predators.
The large grayish-blue great blue heron n is the most common heron species in Wisconsin. The large snow-white great egret is considered threatened in Wisconsin. Both species return in the spring to breed and raise their young before departing for their warmer winter homes in the fall.
The nesting platform installation was made possible with part of the PCB clean-up funding for the Fox River. The Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant provided matching funds to enhance avian and other wildlife use of the park, including developing fish spawning habitats, invasive species removal and the installation of nesting platforms.
ATC donated the steel bases, wooden poles and nesting platforms. M.J. Electric donated the lumber for the nesting platforms and the labor and equipment to install the platforms. Click here to watch a recap of the installation.