AUGUSTA — Just in time for the holidays, Burly Bird and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are selling a new great blue heron sticker to help find new heron colonies.
Burly Bird, a Maine-based conservation sticker company, partnered with the Heron Observation Network of Maine to help raise funds for an important statewide aerial survey for nesting great blue herons, state wildlife biologist Danielle D’Auria said Friday in a department news release.
They sell for $4, with $3 going directly to fund the next aerial survey scheduled for 2015. The survey will help find new heron colonies that may have recently popped up, she said.
D’Auria said sticker sales will also help leverage federal funding through Maine's State Wildlife Grant Program.
HERON is a volunteer adopt-a-colony program the department started in 2009 to gain a better understanding of the great blue heron’s status within Maine.
Due to a decline in breeding pairs along the coast, the great blue heron was designated as a Species of Special Concern in Maine in 2007.
Little was known about the inland breeding population before 2009 when the department ramped up its monitoring efforts by creating HERON, D’Auria said.
Through HERON, volunteers across the state collect information on great blue heron colonies during the breeding season to help state biologists understand the species’ population trend and prioritize future conservation efforts.
The public can support HERON's work by purchasing the UV-coated vinyl sticker of a great blue heron that can be placed on car bumpers and windows, water bottles, coffee mugs, laptops, bikes and anywhere else, she said.