The Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”) is reporting that the Pacific great blue herons have returned to their nesting site in Stanley Park after successful 2012 season. This is the 13th year the herons have nested in the park and they have started to return to the trees above the Park Board’s Administrative Offices and the tennis courts over the last week.
According to the SPES, last year, 117 nests were counted in the colony and 86 of these were occupied by heron pairs. In total, an estimated 169 young herons fledged from the colony in 2012, 69 more than in 2011 and 49 more than in 2010.
The nests are quite the sight to see but you don’t want to get too close. There are fences in place to reduce disturbances to the colony and to protect visitors from falling debris. The colony is also at risk from predators like raccoons.