- Our Town
Two young herons confirmed near Snug Cove
Good news from the nesting grounds with at least two young herons confirmed last week at the lagoon near Snug Cove.
The youngsters are the same size as the attending adults, but darker with fewer white markings on their heads. Take your binoculars to the causeway and scan the logs along the shoreline for best sightings.
Normally, young herons are easy to see in August at the lagoon and beaches and shorelines around Snug Point. After a two-year gap, it is great to see them back in the Snug Cove area.
The past few years have been challenging for nesting herons. Besides hungry eagles they have also had to cope with disruption by human activity. Taking the Crippen/library nests as an example, disturbances have included a tractor working in the park near the active nests in 2011, and a new path forming from the sidewalk to the nests in 2012.
This year, herons were seen mating at these nests on April 14, as reported in a letter to the Undercurrent.
The following week, noisy road repair work was done opposite the nests despite the municipality’s heron protection policy. The herons flushed from the nests during the cutting and compaction of the pavement, whereupon an eagle spent time in the nests presumably eating the eggs.
While the Crippen/library nests have produced young herons many times, including every year from 2006 to 2010, disturbances like these have led to a gap of at least two years.
We don’t know whether the youngsters seen at the lagoon last week came from this nest site or from elsewhere.
This is the 16th year for this beautiful blue-listed species choosing to nest on our island. Bowen Heron Watch is a joint project of the Bowen Island Conservancy and the Bowen Nature Club.
Thanks to all who have reported sightings so far.
Sue Ellen Fast