Great Blue Herons
The herons are back!
A sure sign of spring for me ― even more than crocuses or cherry blossoms in bloom ― is when the Pacific Great Blue Herons return to Stanley Park. They arrived a few weeks ago. This is the thirteenth consecutive year they’re nesting in what is one of the largest urban Great Blue Heron colonies in North America. Last year, the Stanley Park heronry hosted 86 mating pairs, which produced 169 fledglings.
The heronry is fenced off to keep people from walking beneath the nests, and metal flashing placed around the base of the trees keeps the raccoons from climbing the trees. The eggs are at risk from bald eagles, though, which also live in the park.
The Pacific Great Blue Heron is the largest heron native to North America.