Heron nesting season is now underway, and I wanted to take the occasion to emphasize the importance ensuring that herons are not disturbed during their nesting season. Last year, I encountered an Island resident using a chainsaw to illegally buck logs in Crippen Park, extremely close to the nests behind the Library.
To my astonishment, I received a response by someone who was incensed that I would waste my time worrying about birds when there are other, “more important issues to address.” The letter continued, “ … if they don't like the noise and activity that occurs in Snug Cove why the hell would they choose to live there? There are thousands of other equally suitable trees for nesting all over Bowen Island …”
It's unfortunate that this person is so out of touch with nature, and has little regard for a species that is protected
precisely because of the danger that human encroachment poses for its nesting areas and habits. Since we don’t know what goes on in a heron’s brain, it’s unreasonable to judge them by our own standards and expect that if they don't like the surrounding environment they will move. It’s very likely that many factors which we would never consider influence their decision to use a particular nest.
As is the usual practice, if we simply do what we want with our natural environment then one day our children, or children's children, will look back wistfully and say “There used to be herons nesting in our village; of course, they've all gone now.”
See you on April 5th.