Pacific great blue herons return to Stanley Park after successful 2013 season

Blue heron photo © Michael Schmidt
March 10 2014 –

The Vancouver Park Board and Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) announced today that the Pacific great blue herons have returned to their current nest site in Stanley Park for the 14th consecutive year.

They began arriving in the past week to the trees that tower above the Park Board's Administrative Offices and tennis courts.

Last year, 122 nests were counted in the colony and 81 of these were occupied by heron pairs. In total, an estimated 156 young herons fledged from the colony in 2013, about 10 more than in 2012 and 57 more than in 2011. SPES staff work with volunteer monitors to collect data for researchers with the Canadian Wildlife Service and BC Ministry of Environment.

How we are protecting the birds

Park Board staff secured the gates of the fenced areas below the heronry to reduce disturbances to the heron colony, and protect people from falling debris. In 2010, barriers were applied to the nest trees to discourage predators such as raccoons from climbing the trees.

Dog owners are reminded to keep pets leashed to avoid disturbing the nest area.

The Pacific great blue heron is designated “special concern” under the Species at Risk Act. The Stanley Park colony seems to thrive in the face of human disturbance, but in other parts of our region, development infringes on much of the heron’s habitat.

Adopt a heron nest

Adopting a heron nest supports efforts to learn more about these amazing birds and protect the heron's homes within Stanley Park.

More details can be found in the Stanley Park Great Blue Heronry Annual Report 2013.

Wildlife in Stanley Park


Vancouver is home to a large range of mammals, birds, and fish. Find out what animals you might see, who looks after them, and where to go to learn more.