Just a little heads up for pilots flying in the valley.

The Great Blue Heron are back at their colony on the Kootenay River. The colony is on the South or West Side of the Kootenay River directly South of Margetan’s turf farm and Alvin Lang’s tree farm on “Duck Lake Road”.

I counted 53 this morning but that is probably just a start. At this time of the year they are just settling in and in the process of mating and Nest refurbishing and building so the activity is going to be substantial. I don’t know if for safety reasons that a notam to pilots could be publish but it may be advisable. It would be beneficial for both pilot safety and also for the bird itself in a way to avoid disturbance while they are involved in settling it. They have come a long way and are low on fuel and energy and have a lot to get done and indiscriminate disturbance by low flying aircraft for photo ops in my mind should be avoided.

The Heron is a migratory bird and just as a piece of advice there will be people monitoring this colony as it has just moved to this location in the last year on account of being pushed out of it’s old original colony by another migratory bird the Double Crested Cormorant. It would not surprise me that any aircraft that may by chance be disturbing this colony could very well be reported.

It will not be long before the Double Crested Cormorant return to their Colony which is further to the South several miles and it will be going through the same proceedure. The population of that colony may be as high as 300 birds and they are a pretty weighty in nature maybe as high as 10+ pounds.

Take care and all the best

Cyril Colonel

Aug 2010