• River Bends Map

  • Holland Ponds Map

  • HOLLAND PONDS Fan Page

    Become a Fan of Holland Ponds Park

  • Great Blue Herons

    Info and guide to understanding this magnificent bird

TOUR Holland Ponds Park

For those of you wishing to take a Group or your family to see the Nesting Great Blue Herons at Holland Ponds Park, we put together a 3 page download to help you better understand this unique place, along with a detailed Map to help get you around the Park.

We hope these informational sheets help you enjoy these magnificent Birds and all that they face to produce youngsters each year in this Heron Colony at Holland Ponds.

If you have any further questions about the Park or the nest Herons, Egrets or the many critters and wildlife that call Holland Ponds Home, please feel free to drop us an email. QUESTIONS ABOUT HOLLAND PONDS

HollandPondsHerons1HollandPondsHeronsflat2Holland-Ponds-Map

DOWNLOAD THE 3 SHEET INFO FLYER & PARK MAP HERE

Advertisements

New MAPS Coming

We have three Maps available for Shelby Twp. Parks. One is our Map of Holland Ponds. This Map is now three years into edits and detailing. Very accurate and GPSed Map of the Park and heronries there.

HOLLAND PONDS PARK MAP

We also have an adjoining Map that will guide you from Holland Ponds Park, over to Yates Cider Mill. This is a great Hike in Fall to see the Colors along the river Trail, stop in for Cider and then return to Holland Ponds Park. All without fighting the hideous traffic that congests Yates Cider Mill when the apples are flowing there.

HOLLAND PONDS PARK to YATES CIDER MILL MAP

We have a Map of River Bends Park, primarily showing the Nature Center side of the river and Park. This again is a detailed Map that has been GPSed over the last couple of years. A great Map to follow the various Hiking Trails that are behind the Shadbush Nature Center and those that follow the river up to the bridge.

RIVER BENDS PARK MAP….THE NATURE CENTER AND WEST BRIDGE SIDE

We are about to finally release our full Map of River Bends Park, showing the entire Park. Both sides of the river have been GPSed and detailed out. All the various Trails are indicated including much of the unique foliage that still exists there. Also indicated on the new Map are the remnants of the old Clinton/Kalamazoo Canal and the Mule trail that paralleled the Canal.

This late summer we will be releasing a Map we have been working on for more then 2 years now. It is a Map of the Metro Detroit area, that indicates most of the Great Blue Heron nesting sites that still exist, and how many nests are located at each Heronry. This has been a very challenging Map to put together because there are many secretive nesting sites for these beautiful birds. In fact, there is one very large Heronry we will not be indicating on this new Map in order to keep the nesting site a secret and growing in a healthy manner as it has been doing for many years now. We have seen what little respect and care many of the local Parks & Recreation people have for these unique and special places such as a Heronry, and we feel if we reveal all the nesting sites, they will be compromised, sold out for money and eventually we would have NO Great Blue Heron nesting sites in Southeastern Michigan. But what we have indicated on this new upcoming Map is pretty exciting, and we are sure you all will use it to do some excellent heron tours in the future. 🙂

Comparing notes on two other Heronries

We have been studying a brand new, two year old Heron Colony, and another very large and old heron nesting site in Southeastern Michigan. It is allowing us the opportunity to compare notes from the 10 years of study at Holland Ponds, to another older nesting site and a new two year old site.

There are very few studies of any sort on Heron nesting sites. Almost none in Michigan. Just some of the basics, and they are almost 15 years old and actually list No Heron nesting sites in Macomb county. They do not even acknowledge the destroyed  Heronry in west Bloomfield which contained over 200 nests. This Colony was destroyed in less then two years after the construction of a Bike Pathway there. Even Audubon has confirmed this fact now, and is working with DTE in constructing nesting Poles to attract the Herons back. They have been unsuccessful at their attempts so far. Most likely, as long as the disruptive Bike Pathway remains, the herons will not return.

We have found some up to date research out of Wisconsin. But we have learned that herons differ from area to area in their behaviour around their Colonies. depending on whether the Herons are ground nesting, nesting on an Island or in Trees. All this will affect their behaviour at the nesting Colony. Even when Herons nest in Tress, it will vary depending on whether those tress are over water, isolated from people directly or exposed to constant movement of any sort. This is the main concern about the fast moving Bikes projected to pass down the new BIKE Pathway to be constructed at Holland Ponds this summer. If there will not be a constant flow of Bikes on this new almost million dollar Pathway, then what is the point of it at all? The facts appear to conflict with each other. Either the Bike Pathway will be a success and draw in all this money as claimed by the proponents of the Pathway, or it will not. Which is it? Depending on what Newspaper article you read, will depend on what various officials have to say about the Pathway, the Heronry, the Money, the reasons why IT MUST HAPPEN. There is no consistent reports on this new Pathway through Holland Ponds. Lots of good wishes, but no real facts.

There is still much to be examined before this Pathway is installed if Parks & Recreation and our own Department of Natural Resources can justify such a Gamble at constructing a new BIKE pathway at Holland Ponds, that is very similar to the one that destroyed 200 nests in West Bloomfield. We have requested the research and data the DNR should have collected before they gave Shelby twp. some $300,000 to construct such a Pathway with our money from our Parks PASSPORT system. Before the protectors of our state’s Natural Resources (the DNR) donates that kind of money and then the local Parks & Recreation in Shelby Twp. matches it, You would believe all these entities would have extensive studies and data to confirm their actions are sound and not Nature destructive. We shall see.

Empty Bike car roof racks, do not add up to a successful mis-named HIKE-BIKE Pathway as recently quoted in in a local Shelby Twp. Newspaper. No research or data from anyone, and just well wishes and the whole project is nothing more then one big Gamble, based on those well wishes, dreams, and absolutely NO sound data, research or determinations made from facts. Not sound judgement what so ever. Just a Do or Die for the Herons.

Latest Heron Report

3/30/13 and all is well at the Holland Ponds heronry. Most of the existing nests have mating pairs of herons on them. And many of the females are already sitting on the nests, indicating they are about to lay eggs or already have.

No new nests being built this year though. Puzzling. Maybe there will still be another migration of Herons to arrive yet, at the Heronry. Hopefully so.

I will have an actual nest count next week. We lost over  10 nests this last winter, due to two separate wind storms that took down two different nesting trees in the front Heronry. Great thing the Herons decided a few years back, to expand the heronry to the forest near the river and created the new rear nesting site. That site is a bit more secluded and plenty of room for expansion.

Get out to Holland Ponds, relax and enjoy the mating herons. It is such a wonderful way to enjoy such a beautiful Natural area for now. Enjoy it while we still have it.

Ashok Annual HERON HIKE

For the 7th year in a row, we will be returning to the largest Great Blue Heron nesting site in Southeastern Michigan, to witness the arrivals of the herons. Each year around the beginning of March, the Herons return from their Wintering grounds, to mate and rebuild their nests here at Holland Ponds.

Seven years ago, a longtime Hiking Michigan member, Ashok, suggested we start a Hike to show the importance of this very special and unique place in Shelby Twp. Michigan. And here we are some 7 years later, still meeting our friends at Holland Ponds as they produce another year of youngsters that will help this Heronry continue to grow, as it has for the 10 years it has existed.

We hope you will join us in a short walk to the viewing areas and watch as the returning Herons select mates, rebuild and claim nests, and get started on another season of reproducing still more Great Blue Herons.

GET A FLYER WITH DETAILS AND A MAP TO OUR MEETING PLACE HERE:

HollandSaveHIKE1

HollandSaveHIKE2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Park is small, so the Hiking will not be extensive. The focus is the Herons and their activities around the nesting sites. bring along a pair of binoculars and warm cloths. It can get chilly while you stand and watch these magnificent Birds.

We will do some roaming around the Park and we might see some Deer, White Egrets, Green Herons, Turtles & Frogs of all types, nesting Geese, Owls and Hawks. This Park is known as the Bird baby Factory because of the many different species that come here each year to nest and have their young. This is because of the habitats and natural environment there. A very delicate balance is in play at the Park. Nurturing is required by Shelby Twp. Parks & recreation if these many different species are to continue to flourish and survive.

There are many very experienced people the Parks department has available to consult with in keeping this special place the Gem it has been, for now and for future generations. We only hope that they understand their duties and responsibilities to such a unique place in Southeastern Michigan. Baseball diamonds and BIKE paths are plentiful in the area. But there is only ONE, largest Great Blue heron nesting site in Michigan. And that precious place is at Holland Ponds Park.

Come and join us for this annual celebration in HERONS, this Saturday, March 23rd, 12 Noon – 3pm. A colored Map and other goodies await all in attendance.

GET THE LATEST PARK MAP HERE:

Holland-Ponds-Map-2011 copy

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Holland Ponds 2012 Heron Nesting report

So how did the Great Blue Herons do this year, 2012, at the Heronry, located at HOLLAND PONDS Park, in Macomb county, Shelby Twp.? This was their best EVER, to date! A total of 44 occupied nests where recorded in both the front and rear heronries. That surpasses 2011’s total of 39 nests, by 5.

Each nesting pair of Great Blue Herons where successful at hatching 2-4 chicks per nest. That unfortunately was not the number of Heron chicks to be fledged from each nest. As with any nesting season for the Herons, there would be the natural order of things ruling the outcome of the Heronry. Each nest does not fledge all hatched chicks. In many cases at least one chick per nest is lost as the weakest or sickly of the hatch. This chick will either not receive enough food, due to the competition amongst it’s siblings, or a chick will succumb to illness. This is the way for the strongest of hatchlings to fledge to adulthood.

Another loss to the Heronry was weather. This year in both the front and the rear heronries, a major branch on a nesting tree, and an entire nesting tree, fell to the ground, due to the high winds that move through the lowlands where the heronries are located. These two loses took 3 nests in the front heronry and another 3 nests in the rear heronry. That would have been 50 nests this year. It shows how delicate these Heron nesting sites can be. If not for the huge success rate, at new nest building there, these 6 lost nests would have been extremely critical to the Colonies growth. But due to the successful expansion of both heronries, even the loss of 6 nests resulted in a total net growth of the heronries as a whole, from 39 nests in 2011, to 44 active nests in 2012. Still a very successful season, and still the largest Great Blue Heron rookery in Southeastern Michigan.

We hope that Shelby Twp. will continue to cherish the fact that more Herons reproduce there at Holland Ponds, in Shelby Twp. then any other place in this corner of the state. We hope they continue take care of this rare place for future generations to learn and marvel at this unique setting, and that the majestic Great Blue Heron will continue to thrive in a Colony that has consistently grown in size for over 8 years now.

DOWNLOAD THE 2012 HERON NESTING REPORT HERE

DOWNLOAD A 3 PAGE STUDY OF GREAT BLUE HERONS IN MICHIGAN

6th annual Ashok HERON HIKE

In HIKING MICHIGAN tradition for some 6 years now, we will be doing our annual “Ashok HERON HIKE” dedicated to the Great Blue Herory at Holland Ponds Park. This is the largest Heronry in S.E.Michigan, and a place we have watched over for these last 6 years.

Come on out and do a special Hike just for the Herons and see and hear about their activities at the Colony nesting site, and learn about their possible future there at the Park.

The group will be meeting at the Holland Ponds parking area at 12pm. The Hike will run until 2pm, with options for more Park activities or further nature activities back at the Shadbush Nature Center.

You can download a Flyer with more details here:  ASHOK ANNUAL HERON HIKE

%d bloggers like this: