Vancouver’s newest reality TV stars have just flown into town, and boy are they tired.
No, it’s not the Real Housweives of Vancouver, it’s the city’s seasonal population of blue herons who have begun to claim nests in a colony near the Stanley Park tennis courts.
The birds, who have used the same nesting site for 17 consecutive years, are making for popular viewing on a Vancouver Park Board live stream, which can be found here.
Stanley Park Ecology Society Urban Wildlife Coordinator Greg Hart says the cameras have been upgraded this year.
“It has some really cool features where you can actually take control of it and view different nests – and offers a really great bird’s eye view of above the nests so you can actually see what’s happening in it.”
The Park Board says this year, the herons have set up camp about three weeks later than they did in 2016.
The Pacific great blue heron is considered a species at risk in Canada, and according to the Park Board more than a third of their worldwide population calls the Salish Sea area home.
Last year, birds in the Stanley Park colony set up 83 nests, raising 138 fledgelings.
Viewers who want to get a look at the herons can also take control of the “Heron Cam” for short periods, and zoom into specific nests. They can also pose questions to a biologist over twitter using the hashtag #HeronTalk.
The initiative is a partnership between the Stanley Park Ecology Society and the Vancouver Park Board, and supports the city’s Bird Strategy.
That program has seen big success in recent years with its City Bird election, which aims to educate the public about birds through an online vote for an annual flying representative.