Great blue heron on Foster Island in Seattle. (STEPHEN HUI)
It used to be that you had to head over to the trees near the Vancouver park board offices (2099 Beach Avenue) to take in the amazing sight of Pacific great blue herons nesting.
Now you can just log on to the City of Vancouver website from anywhere in the world to see them in their pixelated glory.
The park launched a live webcam today (March 18).
As a park board news release says, the heron cam “takes viewers inside the nests of these magnificent birds for courtship and mating rituals, nest building and egg laying. Watch as chicks hatch and the parents fend off predators such as eagles and raccoons.”
The heron cam offers a bird’s-eye view of its subjects. (VANCOUVER PARK BOARD)
The release also states: “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. Herons leave the colony by late August and disperse to local feeding grounds, such as Lost Lagoon, False Creek, the Fraser River and Iona Beach.”
The cam can view four trees, and if you wait your turn, you can control which nests are broadcast and at what zoom.
Map of the nests available for viewing through the heron cam. (VANCOUVER PARK BOARD)
At time of writing, over 60 people were watching the cam, which already had over 2,100 total viewers.
Meanwhile, the Stanley Park Ecology Society is hoping to raise funds by allowing donors to “adopt a heron nest” for $48 per year.