Despite a difficult nesting season, baby blue herons are starting to rear their mohawked heads in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
The Stanley Park Ecology Society says it’s found 13 newborn Pacific great blue heron chicks so far and, in the rare moments the mother herons have stepped away from their nests, has spotted about 40 other eggs near hatching.
It’s been a tough year for the birds, according to the city’s board of parks and recreation. It says more extreme winter weather than usual and spring eagle raids delayed the blue heron’s nesting season.
It’s concerning for the at-risk species, whose numbers have been declining since the 1980s. On top of eagle attacks, the birds are also impacted by human disturbance and habitat loss, the parks board says.
Still, dozens of eggs have survived so far.
If people are patient, they may even be able to spot some of the freshly hatched fuzz balls by checking out the city’s online Heron Cam livestream. Previous videos also show the birds courting and mating, nest building and egg laying.
If people decide to visit in person, the parks board asks that they observe the blue herons from outside fenced areas, refrain from making any loud noise and keep their dogs on leash. It adds that it’s normal for chicks to be on the ground at times, but if one is obviously fallen and injured, people can notify the Wildlife Rescue Association or Burrard Animal Hospital and Emergency.