On Wednesday Morning Portland City Council officially proclaimed May 27th through June 7th to be the 23rd Annual Great Blue Heron Week celebrating Portland's official city bird and all of our urban wildlife (see proclamation). Great Blue Heron Week will be celebrated with a series of really cool field trips and events.
23 Years ago, Audubon's Mike Houck approached then Mayor Bud Clark, after hearing Bud "wax poetic about seeing herons cross Portland's skyline, and suggested naming the heron as the official city bird. The mayor's response was "Whoop, whoop, why the hell not!" Two weeks later it was official. At the time a battle was raging over moving Marine Drive in a manner that would have destroyed a giant heron rookery---the heron rookery was ultimately saved and can be seen today at Heron Lakes Golf Course.
To celebrate the naming of the Great Blue Heron as Portland's City Bird, Oregon's poet laureate William Stafford penned the poem Spirit of Place:
In addition, Bridgeport Brewpub celebrated the event by naming their new ale "Great Blue Heron Pale Ale" another mainstay of Portland that, like the herons, is still with us today.
(c) Jim Cruce