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Greenways asking residents to keep eyes open for heron nests

Herons are a species of special conservation concern in BC.

As such, Greenways Land Trust is asking residents to keep their eyes open for the birds and their nests. 

The Great Blue Heron isn’t endangered, but Josie Simpson with Greenways says their efforts are to mitigate the species from being endangered. 

“It’s really vulnerable to habitat loss. They’re fairly picky, it’s not like a crow that can really work out how to live in pretty much any situation. It’s very particular,” Simpson said.

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Herons tend to build their nests in mature trees that grow close to the water. 

“The trees need a fair amount of cover around them because the main predator for the eggs and the young heron are eagles so if the nest didn’t have cover around it, it becomes particularly vulnerable to that.”

She says spotting nests is especially important in Campbell River where people tend to live close to the water and development happens along the water. 

Simpson encourages those who spot a heron nest in town or on their property to call Greenways and report it. 

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“These herons, they need to have protection for their habitat in order to continue to live around us,” she said. 

She adds that part of their effort, besides working with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, is working with the city on bylaws that will protect heron habitat.

In Campbell River, trees designated as eagle habitat have specific restrictions on development around those trees to protect the eagles. Simpson says they’re working with the city to have similar policies for herons and their habitat. 

She says reporting nest sightings will help figure out which trees are habitats so development doesn’t happen around them. 

If you see a heron nest, you are asked to call the Greenways office at 250-287-3785 or email [email protected]

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