Great Blue Heron
The Great Blue Heron prefers to live in large nesting colonies, the distribution of Herons on Vancouver Island is very specific. Two colonies of 50+ breeding pairs exist on the island, one on the northern portion of Saltspring Island, and one just west of Duncan. Several smaller sites, with an average of ten breeding pairs exist and are located in Downtown Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, Bamberton, Nanaimo, Parksville, Hornby Island, Courtenay, Merville, and Quadra Island. They prefer low-lying wetlands, and long, shallow, nearshore habitats where wading is an efficient method of fishing. Unfortunately, these are attractive areas in which to build cities and as such, many of the urban centers on Vancouver Island are also Heron nesting sites. Overall, the island likely supports 200-300 Herons in total.