Great Blue Heron sightings are being sought in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (e.g., Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish, D’Arcy and surrounding areas).
This is the third season heron sightings are being requested. Reporting heron sightings (i.e., number, specific location, time, direction flying, age) is important and very much appreciated, providing us with a better understanding of their population distribution and abundance and specific habitats being used throughout the year.
The goal of the project is to define distribution, abundance and habitats used by Great Blue Heron to help conserve them. Spring and summer are good times to observe the species, as they come together to mate, nesting in colonies in trees.
The coastal species is unique in that it’s non-migratory. But it’s population has been decreasing.
Last year, a number of people submitting observations that provide a great foundation for the research. So become a citizen scientist, a steward, a naturalist, or just a champion for the Great Blue Heron, by learning how to identify this bird, keeping your eyes open as you’re out and about, and noting the date, time, specific location, number and activity of any Great Blue Heron you observe.
The direction the birds are flying and any nesting activity (carrying twigs, young calling) is particularly valuable information.
As Brigitte Mah wrote last year, Pemberton is ripe with ideal habitat for blue herons, with its intact riparian habitat (areas adjacent to water bodies, and abundance of cottonwoods).
Bald eagle sightings can also be helpful, as eagles prey on the chicks of Great Blue Herons.
If you see a Great Blue Heron, make sure to note the location, like One Mile Lake, but also accurate details, like the north end at 2 p.m. and flying eastward into a set of trees.
Sounds can sometimes be the first way to “sight” a bird, so check out this link for the calls a great Blue heron makes: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Great_Blue_Heron/sounds
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have sightings or questions.
Greg Ferguson – Project Coordinator