The great blue herons in the Cuyahoga Valley have lost another nesting tree.
A large sycamore tree on the south side of West Bath Road near the Cuyahoga River in North Akron toppled over last week.
The tree was home to 25 nests last spring and has held as many as 60 nests some years, said Andrea Irland of Cuyahoga Falls, a National Park Service trail planner who has helped monitor the heron nests for 17 years.
“It’s very sad. You hate to see it go. … But we’re grateful that the tree didn’t come down during nesting season,” she said.
The heronry had 110 nests this year with those 220 adults raising about 251 chicks, Irland said.
The nesting herons are a major tourist attraction in the Cuyahoga Valley in the spring.
It is unclear what the nesting herons will do next year with the loss of the nesting tree, she said.
It is likely that the herons will simply adapt to the missing sycamore tree next spring, Irland said.
There are still three sycamores on the south side of West Bath Road where the birds with 5-foot wing spans nest.
There was no evidence that the tree that came down was in trouble or likely to come down, she said.
It is the second tree to come down in recent years at the site at the southern edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on land owned by the city of Akron and managed by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County.
The first nesting tree had been leaning and it was in danger of toppling onto electric lines. It was removed in 2011 after the nesting birds had departed.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.