A first view of the Stanley Park Heronry

Stanley Park HeronryOn the afternoon of December 18, 2006, I visited the heronry near the tennis courts by English Bay, just on the Eastern edge of Stanley Park. I was accompanied by Dalyce the heron expert from the Stanely Park Ecology Society. As much as anything, I wanted to see for myself the extent of the colony since the last time I'd seen herons at the park, they were in the trees around what at that time was the zoo area, near the famous Stanley Park Aquarium, in a whole different area of the park. I also wanted to see what damage the trees had received in the storms of the previous weeks. The park in general has sustained huge impact, with acres of trees in some parts simply devastated. Right near the nest we saw this conifer's root ball with the tree itself fortunately pointing away from the nest trees.

Dalyce met me near the parking lot of the Parks Board offices which is just below some of the trees the herons have taken over. She had a plan of the area showing the trees with monikers of "A", "B", etc. and we discussed the potential placement of one or more cameras.

Most of the nests are in deciduous trees, delicately balanced and not looking at all safe. In fact, the nests must be very well constructed considering how few fell out, and how well those that did actually survived the fall. As you can see from the pictures here of nests on the ground, they are remarkably intact, and the comparison with Dalyce's umbrella gives you some scale that the view from the ground lacks.

Our proposal was to install two cameras for redundancy. Since we have decided that it is not in the best interests of the herons to put the cameras in the trees, we'll initially go with a single camera since it is one we can do ongoing maintenance to. As the season progresses, we may put a second camera in the same location with a slightly wider or different view if the opportunity presents itself.

Please join us in discussing this new camera and the herons in our discussion forum.

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