Springtime is mating time, and the Bay Area provides its residents with a splendid opportunity to view the new families of one of our most majestic birds—the great blue heron. The largest heron in North America, great blues average nearly four feet in height and have a wingspan of six feet. One of the best places to view them while they’re nesting is in San Francisco, at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Come see for yourself on Sundays from April 29-May 27, and on Saturdays from June 2-16, from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Spotting scopes will be set up on the grass near the Stow Lake Boathouse, and student interns from the California Academy of Sciences—led by local heron expert and advocate Nancy DeStefanis—will help visitors observe the birds and answer questions. Nancy will also be giving two free lectures about their courtship, mating, and parenting habits at the California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, on Thursday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. For more information, call (415)876-5220.
Bay Nature magazine ◦ April-June 2001