Big blue beautiful birds

Like many people in the area, Rita Bos enjoys spending time with her feathered friends.

Bos has been watching the Great Blue Herons in the Anderson Subdivision for years.

The herons have set up dozens of nests in a stand of cottonwoods in the Heron Grove along 20th Street.

With their six-foot wingspan, long necks and pointy beaks, some have compared the bird to pterodactyls of the dinosaur age when in flight.

The Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in Canada. Adults stand more than one-metre tall with their necks outstretched, and they weigh around 2.5 kg.

This bird gives the general impression of being tall and thin: its wings, neck, bill, and legs are long. The long limbs dictate the heron’s movements: it flies with deep, slow wing beats, and on land, or in the water, it walks erect with long strides.

In flight, the neck is doubled back, the head resting against the shoulders, and the long legs held straight behind.

The heronry has become a popular spot for bird lovers with many people watching the young ones grow from birth to taking flight.

Bos has plans for a book on the local birds.

Having a heronry in such a populated and active area is rare, as the birds tend to prefer more private surroundings.

But there is an abundance of food for them as they feed at area lakes and ponds, of which there are many.

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