Great Blue Heron
Erosion of Islands and Heron Habitat
The islands of Lake Norman are natural resources and sanctuaries for Great Blue Heron and for years, they’ve been favorite gathering spots, landmarks and places to view wildlife. However, development along rivers, reservoirs and adjacent floodplain forests have resulted in habitat loss and fragmentation.
Heron Platforms, Shoreline and Vegetation Restoration
While some islands are well-protected from wind and waves, others are more exposed to natural and man-made elements that cause shorelines to cave, degrade and erode. To help conserve this ecologically significant and diminishing wildlife habitat, we’ve enhanced existing heron rookeries and established new ones on Heron Island, a protected colonial waterbird nesting area.
Watch the Heron Rookery on Lake Norman
What We're Doing
Outcomes & Impact
With a grant from Duke Energy’s Catawba Wateree Habitat Enhancement Program, and in partnership with Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists, NCWF constructed nine heron platforms and installed a live camera on Heron Island. Additionally, there’s a shoreline and vegetation project underway to help preserve Heron Island from the wind, boat waves and storms that wreak havoc on the shores.
Restoring and stabilizing the island’s eroding main channel side involves creating a matted rock and shoreline using 300 tons of material and woody vegetation. The addition of native plants, such as buttonbush and silky dogwood, will provide brood and forage habitat as well as wildlife food and cover.
- NC Wildlife Federation works to preserve Lake Norman island for roosting herons
- Saving Heron Island: Project to protect largest nesting area on Lake Norman
- Gregarious birds flock together at favorite island in Cornelius
- Efforts underway to save Heron Island on Lake Norman
- NCWF Kicks Off Stabilization Project for Lake Norman Herons