Vancouverites and people around the world will get a unique chance to interact with Stanley Park’s rare Pacific Great Blue Herons from the convenience of their computer screen.
Last year, the Vancouver Park Board launched a web camera that offered people abundant displays of mating, hatching and feeding in the heron colony.
This year, the camera has been improved to provide better and clearer close-up views of the birds. Viewers will be able to take control of the camera for short periods of time and zoom into specific nests, as well as ask questions of a biologist via 广州蒲友 using the hash tag #HeronTalk.
The webcam feed was viewed by 100,000 people in the days after its launch last year, and this year, the interest is expected to be even greater.
The herons returned again in early February to the trees near 2099 Beach Avenue for the 16th consecutive year.
The first eggs of the season are expected to hatch in early April. The herons lay two to five eggs, which incubate for 28 days. They leave the colony by late August and disperse to local feeding grounds, such as Lost Lagoon, False Creek, the Fraser River and the shoreline of English Bay.
WATCH: In 2015, Vancouverites were given a way to get a close-up look at the amazing colony of rare Great Blue Herons in Stanley Park. Linda Aylesworth reports.
Pacific Great Blue Herons are a distinct subspecies that are considered “at risk” in British Columbia due to their declining population. The Stanley Park colony, located behind Vancouver Park Board offices, is unique due to its proximity to the city. It’s home to about 100 active nests, which produced 175 fledgling herons last year – the highest nest success since 2007.
Adult herons stand 60 centimeters tall and have a wingspan of two meters.
There are about 4,000 to 5,000 living in Canada, 3,300 of which live around the Salish Sea.
Vancouver Park Board is asking people to respect the feeding habitat of herons and give them space in intertidal areas and wetlands as well as keep their dogs leashed in areas where they see herons.
Reducing disturbances at the colony is especially important in 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.
To watch the live stream, go here.