Heron Watch - Free Program
Observe the Magnificent Great Blue Herons and Their Chicks at Stow Lake
7 Saturdays During the Spring Nesting Season in April and May.
2021 Season Saturday Dates: April 10, 17, 24; May 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Free Program -- Volunteers will direct attention to the herons and chicks, explain their behavior, and answer questions.
Please bring binoculars. Because of the pandemic we will not be setting up spotting scopes this year, or leading field trips. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing among our volunteers and members of the public.
The observation site will be open from 10 am to 1 pm. Donations welcome!.
Here is a link to the map below (NOTE: OBSERVATION SITE HAS MOVED!).
GREAT BLUE HERONS began nesting at
Stow Lake in 1993. To date, 249 chicks have
learned to fly here. The herons court, build
their nests, mate, and lay eggs between
January and March. By April the nests have
chicks. The parents continue feeding them
as chicks grow to about four feet tall.
In June the chicks begin to branch-hop and take short flights. They typically start leaving the nest at twelve weeks, around July 4th.
Click here to view or print our 2021 flyer.
Blue Herons Nesting in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park - ABC 7 News
ABC 7 News, April 13, 2017
Click here for article by Bay Nature Magazine about the Great Blue Herons at Stow Lake and the Heron Watch Saturday program, with embedded video interview with Nancy DeStefanis.
Click here to watch a video where interns share their experience with our internship program.
Click here to view or download "Great Blue Heron Colony Nesting and Fledging Chronology, 1993-Present".
High school interns with Executive Director, Nancy DeStefanis.
Intern Cedric, at left, leads a tour of the great blue heron colony.
Heron Watch volunteers 2014
Interested in being a Heron Watch volunteer? Click here to download an application.