SF Weekly Birdwatching: Blue Heron Sighting at Mission Creek

Notes by John Geluardi

Photos by Joe Eskenazi

There was a rare sight outside the SF Weekly's windows this morning: A young female great blue heron with her yellow eyes, dagger-like bill and fringed breast was warming herself atop a piling near the Fourth Street Bridge. What made the sighting even more amazing was that sitting on pilings right next to her were a double crested cormorant and a snowy egret, a Mission Creek regular that a local reporter named “Sally,” for her resemblance to the high-dressing madam Sally Stanford.

The three birds had probably finished their morning meal on the abundant fish life in the creek that empties into the San Francisco Bay at AT&T Park. Great blue herons were not known to nest in San Francisco until Nancy DeStefanis, director of the San Francisco Nature Education, discovered a nest on the small island in the middle of Golden Gate Park’s Stow Lake.

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