The Bent Oaks Conservancy
The iconic windswept oaks along the Little Bay shoreline greet visitors to Bent Oaks Rookery Park. From mid-January to September, the park’s live oak woodland hosts a large colony of nesting herons and egrets, known as a rookery, a unique natural attraction of the area.
The rookery and woodland are, however, threatened by a variety of factors, both natural and human-caused. The live oak woodland is deteriorating, with a loss in canopy cover of greater than 20 percent since 2015, numerous diseased and dead trees present, and with little to no natural regeneration occurring. The loss of trees and canopy cover can reduce available nesting habitat, and the rookery is susceptible to disruption.
100+ nesting pairs of herons and egrets represent a colony that was displaced from another location by human disturbance, an increasingly common problem. In response to these threats, a protection and restoration plan has been developed, this is a collaborative effort between the City of Rockport, The Texas Master Naturalist, Mid-Coast Chapter, The Texas A&M Forest Service, and the Bent Oaks Conservancy.
The plan’s primary goals are to:
• Improve protection of the rookery
• Restore and expand the live oak woodland
Future plans include additional perimeter fencing, improvements to the public viewing area, and educational signage, possible water well and more.
We are currently accepting donations to fund this restoration and conservation project, please scroll down to contribute funds directly to this project.