Great blue herons can be found in many Seattle neighborhoods. The majestic birds fly with slow wing-beats and stand quietly along bodies of water where they feed mostly on fish — steelhead smolts are a favorite.
Recently, I was lucky enough to see a few graceful herons from Commodore Park, near the Ballard Locks, as I sketched the historic Salmon Bay Bridge —how did I miss its 100th anniversary in 2014?
In my drawings, one heron is just a speck of color under the drawbridge. Another appears perched on wooden pylons that were far away from where I stood, but I managed to capture its silhouette if I squinted my eyes.
As nesting season begins in February, one should be especially careful not to disturb them. The Seattle Audubon Society, which estimates about 30 to 40 heron nests in the Seattle area, recommends to keep a distance of 1,000 feet where possible.
Seattle wouldn’t be the same without these longtime residents, so let’s do whatever we can to keep great blue herons from moving away.