Welcome to our live-stream heron-cam overlooking the largest heron rookery on Vancouver Island! Last year there were over 110 heron nests and over 200 herons roosting in the heronry! How many can you count?
To activate the camera please click on the screen above. Click on the Full Screen icon in the lower right hand corner for the best view. Once the camera is awake you can click on the toggle control in the bottom right corner (to the left of “full screen”) and you will have live access to moving the camera for 5 minutes. Use the zoom button and the movement scrollers on the edges of the screen to search for nesting herons. Please note, like on a boat, to move the camera left you need to move the scroller button the opposite way, to the right! Enjoy!
Pacific Great Blue Herons in the Estuary
Pacific Great Blue Herons are found throughout British Columbia, near lakes and coastal areas They may nest individually, or in heronries (colonies) with tens or or sometimes hundreds of birds, and typically return to the same nesting areas year after year. Herons lay 2-5 eggs, usually between February and April, which hatch in about 30 days. The parents share the duties of incubating the eggs and feeding the young. At two months old the young are able to fly and seek food. A heron’s diet consists mainly of fish, but they will also eat shellfish, insects, rodents, amphibians (mostly frogs), reptiles and small birds. Herons may live to be 17 or more years old.
Pacific Great Blue Herons are a Blue-listed species; considered vulnerable to disturbance by bald eagles and humans. Urban and rural development results in the loss of suitable nesting areas and disturbance to birds during their breeding season. Especially during the early stages of nesting, unusual events and loud noises such as mechanical chippers, chainsaws, and large trucks may cause the herons to abandon their nests. The Cowichan Bay Heronry in Wessex Ravine is designated as a protected development permit area (DPA) where these noisy activities are prohibited during heron nesting.
Under the BC Wildlife Act, Section 34, the nests and nest trees of herons are protected year-round, whether or not the nest is currently active. Herons and their active nests are also protected under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act. The Coastal (fannini) subspecies is listed under SARA as “special concern”, and both subspecies are listed as Identified Wildlife.
Special thanks to talented nature lover Anais MacPherson (10yrs old) for this beautiful ink and watercolour painting!
We hope it inspires you to take a moment to reflect and appreciate the beauty of nature.