Herons Are Watching

I work in an office on the airport hanger side, near a Goleta Slough channel that gets filled by the tide. I enjoyed Matt Kettman’s article “Goleta Slough Goes Tidal.” I think restoration projects like this are vital. Not only does it bring us many beautiful birds to see, it shows that sometimes man and nature can live peacefully.

Last week, I think I saw three egrets on the side of Firestone Road. I felt lucky to see such beauty near my employer’s abode. Then, a day later, I spotted this beautiful blue or gray heron, sitting in a patch of morning sun, tall and proud like a baron. Seeing birds like that makes my drive to work more exciting.

I hope we do all we can to keep the slough feeling inviting.

Click to enlarge photo

Rachel Hoyt


A few times I saw a heron watching the planes where people get fines. He peeked through and beneath the plethora of warning signs. I think he watched me too as I drove past, heading home. I wondered why he stood there staring inquisitively, alone. I’ve seen birds hurt by power lines in my time working out there. However, it was the tarmac at which he chose to stare.

I can’t help but wonder if he was critiquing the landings and take-offs? Perhaps, like humans, blue herons like to people-watch and scoff? The fact that they’re still here watching, to me, says good things about our airport. I’m glad it seems we’ll continue to be a “duck-hunting free” resort. I would miss the birds if we tried to shoo them all off. Plus, try as we may, like the otters they would probably not stay away.

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