Oh To Be a Heron in the Springtime

The Okanagan hosts the world’s only urban heron rookery. Things are full of action there at the moment.


The Rookery, Vernon

The rookery, however, is on private land, surrounded by tire dealerships, a walled housing village, and various mechanical shops. Currently, the “owner” of the land is protecting the herons’ right to this, their space, despite the protests of neighbours about the danger these trees present. If life is to survive the industrialization process in the Okanagan, land ownership rules will change to give priority to these birds, in the way that agricultural land uses are currently protected. When all thrive on this land, all thrive. Blessed be.

7 replies »

  1. I count thirteen herons, and at least twelve nests. And I thought I was lucky to see five on the wing near Stockton, California, in February! Well, I was lucky, but Harold is more fortunate still.


    • Hi,

      these are just the nests in one corner of the rookery. There are more, although this is the bulk of it. Pretty cool, eh!


  2. How on earth can these trees — or the nests — pose any hazard to the neighbours? Don’t they realize how lucky they are to be close to these wonderful birds?


    • The trees fall down sometimes and thus cause property damage, hypothetically. In contemporary Canadian urban parlance, that means that the neighbours have the right to demand that they come down. So far, so good.


  3. Thanks for sharing this info and image. Herons have returned to nest in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria this year; I can hear their cries from our place quite a few blocks away, and their guano lies fairly thick on the ground by the end of nesting time. I hold hope that Victoria’s rookery is safe, being in “public” space; thanks for the the Vernon landowner for holding space for the birds there.


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