A great blue heron catches some rays on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, March 18, as it treks slowly along the still-frozen waters of Cools Pond in the BX. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

A great blue heron catches some rays on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, March 18, as it treks slowly along the still-frozen waters of Cools Pond in the BX. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Heron basks in Okanagan sunshine

Great blue heron wandering the frozen waters of Cools Pond in the BX during a sunny Wednesday outing

Catching some rays on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at Vernon’s Cool’s Pond in the BX were a pair of great blue herons.

One by one, several residents out for a walk in the glorious sunshine stopped to catch a glimpse of the birds.

Vernon has become famous for housing the herons, especially at the heronry at the north end of 20th Street.

Ice still covers a vast portion of the well-known pond, as the birds crept slowly along the top of the water.

Distracted by footsteps, the herons flew off into the wild blue yonder.

Nine Facts about Great Blue Herons:

* The great blue is the largest heron in North America;

* Average height is one metre (adults);

* Average weight is 2.5 kilograms;

* Average lifespan is 15 years (in the wild);

* Great blue herons breed in colonies, anywhere from dozens to hundreds of nesting pairs;

* Can fly at speeds up to 55 kilometres per hour;

* Build their nests out of sticks and line them with moss, grass or pine needles;

* Nests can be quite large, measuring one metre across;

* Great blue herons are Canada’s most widespread heron, found from B.C. to the Maritimes.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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