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Where to See

Places to see Great Blue Herons in the Puget Sound Region

As with any wild animal, Great Blue Herons should not be disturbed by human presence, particularly during the breeding season. These suggestions for areas to observe Great Blue Herons are only to encourage the responsible viewing of this wonderful species. Please observe a considerable distance and view the herons through binoculars, as disturbed herons may abandon their nests and young. Thank you!

  • North and South View Park
    Two municipal parks that look over intertidal mud flats and a shallow bay. The parks are located on E. Marine View Dr. in Everett.
  • Spencer Island
    412-acre island in the heart of the Snohomish River estuary is surrounded by trees and saltwater and freshwater sloughs. The island is located in Everett by Langus Riverfront Park and the Everett Sewage Treatment Plant.
  • Edmonds Marsh
    This habitat consisting of freshwater welands and saltwater estuary is a great place to view Great Blue Herons. The marsh is located in the middle of downtown Edmonds.
  • Kiwanis Ravine
    Kiwanis Ravine is just a block east of Discovery Park in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood. This urban forest and wildlife corridor is home to Seattle's largest great blue heron nesting colony (37 nests in 2000). The Great Blue Herons nest in the colony from about February through mid-summer each year. April is the best viewing month, before the alder leaf out. In the winter, herons often roost in the trees at the Ballard Locks and along the breakwater at the Shilshole Marina.
  • Union Bay Natural Area (a.k.a. Montlake Fill)
    This resorted wetland includes ponds, meadows, and freshwater marshes. Look along the shoreline for Great Blue Herons stalking prey. The Fill is located just east of the University of Washington along the shores of Union Bay.
  • Herring's House Park
    This shoreline wetland park is located along the banks of the Duwamish River in the heart of Seattle's industrial district. Great Blue Herons can easily be viewed hunting along the intertidal areas. The park is located off the West Marginal Way near the north end of Kellogg Island, which is another great place to view herons.
  • Hamm Creek
    This restored creek and intertidal marsh in South Seattle is a great place to view Herons. The creek is located off of West Marginal Way just North of the Seattle City Light substation.
  • Juanita Bay Park
    The park offers a variety of habitats where Great Blue Herons could be seen. They can often be viewed from the broadwalk standing on the pilings or in the marshes located on the other side of the boardwalk. This is a 144-acre park located on the east side of Lake Washington in Kirkland off the Market Street.
  • Black River Riparian Area
    This riparian forest and wetland is host to the largest Great Blue Heron colony in the Puget Sound area. The Black River Riparian Forest is located in north Renton, just north of the intersection of Oakesdale SW and SW 7th (directions and more information).
  • Green River Natural Resource Area (Kent Ponds)
    A 300-acre wildlife refuge that includes marsh, ponds, and meadows. Great Blue Herons can be viewed often perched on the snags or hunting in the ponds. The GRNRA is located just south of S. 212th Street off Russell Rd. in Kent.
  • Eelgrass Beds Throughout the Region
    During the minus tides of the summer, hundreds of herons forage in the Eelgrass Beds in Padilla Bay, Port Susan, Samish Bay, Lummi Bay, Drayton Harbor, and along the Twassessen causeway on Robert's Bank. Great viewing spots include the Brezeale National Estuarine Research Reserve in Bay View, north of Highway 20, just east of I-5 north of MountVernon. Stop along the overlooks at the south end of Chuckanut Drive (Hwy 11) for excellent viewing as well.
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