Great blue heron colony returns to Vancouver's Stanley Park
The great blue heron colony is settling back in at Stanley Park, preparing to welcome another generation of new chicks.
The Vancouver Park Board announced Monday that the birds are back and the cameras that allow nature enthusiasts to observe courting, mating, nesting, egg-laying and hatching have been reactivated.
"High above Park Lane, surrounding the tennis courts, the 64-strong heron colony has settled into its home for the 23rd consecutive year to raise the next generation," a media release form the board says.
"The Heron Cam provides the ultimate close-up view of this remarkable species as they go about their daily rituals."
People visiting the park to get an in-person glimpse of the colony are advised to stay outside of the fenced perimeter, avoid playing loud music in the vicinity, keep dogs on their leashes and refrain from flying drones, which are not allowed in any city parks without a permit. Anyone who sees a fallen or injured chick is urged to stay back and call 311.
In 2022, 90 heron chicks were hatched amid challenges that the park board says included severe weather and "persistent eagle raids." The colony is among the largest in North America.
In Canada, the species is federally protected and in B.C. they are classified as of "special concern," the park board's website points out, noting the total population nation-wide is fewer than 5,000.
"The population of these herons has declined steadily since the 1980s as a result of nesting failure, eagle attacks, human disturbance, and habitat loss," according to officials.
More information about the species and the work to support the colony in Stanley Park can be found online.
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