BIRD'S EYE VIEW
Last week I wrote two stories about the urban raptors that live in our city, in particular bald eagles. Every time I see a pair of bald eagles circling high above I'm taken by how fortunate we are to have these magnificent birds in our midst.
On the other side of that coin, the Pacific great blue herons that nest in Stanley Park aren't such big fans of eagles, which have been known to snack on their babies for breakfast.
The herons are back in the trees adjacent to the park board's administration offices and tennis courts at the edge of the park, where for the past 12 years the birds have settled as a large colony during nesting season.
According to the Stanley Park Ecology Society, which does a great job of keeping track of herons, eagles and other wildlife that frequent the park, last year the herons occupied 110 nests and produced more than 100 fledglings by the end of the season, which is sometimes as late as September. That number is down from the 124 nests and 120 fledglings of 2010.
As is ritual, park board staff have fenced off the area directly below the trees to reduce disturbances to the colony and to protect passersby from falling debris. Dog owners are reminded to keep their pets leashed to avoid disturbing the herons. The Pacific blue heron is a "blue-listed," species at risk in B.C. The society monitors the herons during nesting season and has created the Adopt-a-Nest Program. For more information visit stanleyparkecology.ca.
JUST FOR LAUGHS
While many Vancouver residents adore A-Maze-ing Laughter, the instillation at English Bay made up of 14 bronze sculptures depicting men frozen in mid-laugh, I have a feeling almost as many don't. For the record, I like it.
In January I wrote that the Vancouver Biennale Foundation was set to launch a public campaign to purchase the installation and loan it back to the park board and city at no cost. At the time, I guessed that news would be well received by most Vancouverites, but I was quickly proven wrong. I was bombarded with emails and even hand-written letters from residents who said they're counting the days until this "abomination," as one reader described it, is banished from Morton Park forever.
Now the park board and city want to know what you think. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard, but only until Friday (March 16). Visit vancouver.ca/yoursay.htm or write: Attention Coordinator, Arts and Culture, 2099 Beach Ave., Vancouver, B.C., V6G 1Z4.
Dry St. Paddy's
A group of recreation students from Langara College has partnered with Vancouver Access Services and Hillcrest Community Centre to offer a "fabulous" St. Patrick's Day party for youth.
The evening event promises music, body art, food, cupcake decorating, karaoke, sports, relays, games, dancing and arts and crafts. All teens aged 13 to 18 are welcome, but the event's target market is youth with "exceptionalities," which I believe means kids of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend.
The party takes place March 17 at Hillcrest, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way (near Nat Bailey Stadium), from 6 to 8: 30 p.m. The cost for all activities and food is $5.