The North Bay Heron and Egret Project

The North Bay Heron and Egret Project is a collaborative effort between Audubon Canyon Ranch and the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory to monitor colonially nesting herons and egrets in the San Francisco Estuary. It is the result of ACR's continuing commitment to the protection of nesting herons and egrets in our region and is a source of information for scientists, planning agencies, property owners and birding enthusiasts.

The locations of heronries monitored by Audubon Canyon Ranch and San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory can now be viewed using Google Earth. To take a virtual tour, download the file and open it with Google Earth.

Visit with caution

If you choose to visit a heronry in person, please use caution. Please note that birds are especially vulnerable to disturbance during the nesting season (approximately February-June). During this time, please take care not to walk near or under the heronries, and always respect private property.

For more information about the heronries of the San Francisco Bay Area please see our publication: the Annotated Atlas and Implications for the Conservation of Heron and Egret Nesting Colonies in the San Francisco Bay Area or contact the Cypress Grove Research Center at 415.663.8203.

How to view the heronries using Google Earth:

  1. Download Google Earth and follow the instructions on to install the software
  2. Download the Heronries file and save to your hard drive (the file will be named HeronandEgretProject2012.kmz)
  3. Launch Google Earth. From the file menu, click open, navigate to where you have saved HeronandEgretProject2012.kmz, click on it, then click open.
  4. The Heronries will open and you will automatically zoom in to the San Francisco Bay Area.
  5. Explore! In the Places window, click on the “Heron and Egret Project” text for more information about the Heron and Egret Project. When exploring the study area, click on any icon to view information about that particular nesting site.