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On Friday I watched this young male Columbian Black-tailed Deer feasting on Red Osier Dogwood leaves on the border of Burnside Watkiss Park in View Royal. 

Odocoileus hemionus columbianus_Burnside Watkiss Park_View Royal_C Junck_20200529_130728.jpg

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I watched this Pacific Great Blue Heron (Ardea heroodias fannini) catch and devour several European Wall Lizards in Glencoe Cove-Kwatsech Park in Saanich on May 22. The fannini subspecies is federally listed as Special Concern, and is protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1 Public Registry. It's also on the BC Blue list due to its declining populations.

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Seeing all these herons reminded me that I had seen one on a boat? on the Selkirk Water last summer. My filing systems ain't great, but found it. They seem to be adaptable. Does anyone know why they have become threatened in BC?

216288188_GreatBlueHeronSelkirkWaterJuly2019.thumb.jpg.11ffd5e593b1ae055c558e57ab2e15f2.jpg

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Guest Chris Junck

Hi Clint. According to the COSEWIC assessment and update report, the Pacific subspecies was assessed as Special Concern "due to a small population size, declining productivity, and threats related to Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) predation, habitat loss, and human disturbance." You can find the report on the SARA Public Registry here: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/species-risk-public-registry.html

 

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Welcome to Focus Forums Clint! And thanks for that link Chris. It's interesting reading. I notice that one of the factors in the decline of Great Blue Herons is a decline in the availability of trees tall enough for them to use for nesting and that are also within 10 kilometres of foraging habitat.

Many Victorians are aware that Beacon Hill Park has an active heronry that is, from time to time, disturbed by Bald Eagles. Knowing how skittish herons can be about humans in areas far less populated than Victoria, I am always surprised that the herons tolerate human presence and vehicle noise so close to their nests in Beacon Hill Park. I took this photo in early March.

 

Great-Blue-Herons-in-Beacon-Hill-Park-rookery-March-2020.jpg

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Hopefully people will share their sightings of orca. I don't know if this was a transient or a Southern Resident. It was in a group of 5 to 7 orcas, who came by Harling Point and Harpoon Rock around sunset. It was a beautiful moment! This was in August 2017.

 

Orca-off-Harling-Point-August-02-2017.jpg

Edited by Allan Smith
Added date.

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