The great blue heron is a member of the Ardeidae family, which includes herons and egrets. This family is distinguished by its long, pointed bills, stilt-like legs and slender, bendable necks. The fannini subspecies of the great blue heron occupies coastal British Columbia. These herons have adapted to a non-migratory lifestyle, unlike other great blue herons across Canada which migrate. These majestic birds can reach 4 feet in height, with a wingspan of up to 6 feet long. Herons usually nest in colonies with many nests occupying the same tree frequently. These colonies are known as heronries, and can have several hundred breeding pairs at times in the larger populations. Occasionally, herons will also nest in smaller groups with only a few or even a single nest. Their nest locations tend to be situated along the shoreline in trees near eelgrass beds. Most often they select large Alder or Maple trees, but will also use Black cottonwood, Douglas fir, Western red cedar, and Western hemlock trees.