Heron Watch - Free Program

Observe the Magnificent Great Blue Herons and Their Chicks at Stow Lake
Six Saturdays During the Spring Nesting Season in April and May
2015 season starts April 11 and concludes May 16, 2015.

Nancy DeStefanis, Executive Director of San Francisco Nature Education,
was interviewed by Bay Nature Magazine about the Great Blue Herons
at Stow Lake and the Heron Watch Saturday program (Bay Nature Magazine Online- April 15, 2013).
Back again: Great Blue Herons Nest at Stow Lake

In 1993, Nancy DeStefanis, director of San Francisco Nature Education, discovered the first pair of nesting Great Blue Herons. This turned out to be the first recorded sighting of nesting Great Blue Herons in the city of San Francisco.

The herons court, build their nests, mate and lay eggs between January and March. By April, at least one or more nests have chicks in them.

We start our interpretive program in April. The public can experience the excitement of these four foot tall birds with six foot wingspans flying in and out of the nests-brooding the chicks, feeding the chicks, etc. Naturalists and interns from San Francisco Nature Education are stationed at the observation site with spotting scopes, ready to offer spectacular views into the Great Blue Heron nests and answer questions.

Click here to watch a video where interns share their experience with our internship program.

Click here to view Heron Watch Gallery 2006

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 and please return it by March 14, 2015.

Go heron-watching with SF Nature Education. Part of "The Bay Nature on The Air" program.

Duration: 02:45 / Produced by Rick Bacigalupi / Alternate video link / Flash Plug-in


2015 Season Saturday Dates: April 11, 18, 25 and May 2, 9, 16.

Free Program -- Interns and volunteers, using spotting scopes, will show the herons and chicks and explain their behavior. Observation deck is open from 10:00am to 12:30pm

Naturalist led Walk -- To observe chicks and other nesting birds from various spots around the Lake and Strawberry Island. Terrain is mostly flat. 10:00am-noon - meet at observation site. Adults: $10, young adults and children free.

Click here for a printable map of Stow Lake.