I was at the pond, leaning against a fence, and this fellow almost landed on my shoulder. I'm not sure which of us was more surprised. He bounced up onto the lower branch of a birch and we stared at each other.
He (she?) is a young bird, recently dispersed from one of several heronries in the Lower Mainland region. You can tell it's a youngster not only from its guilelessness. The crown of the head is black (there's a white medial stripe in adults), and a small amount of baby fluff remains on top.
Great Blue Herons are Blue-listed in British Columbia, meaning they are vulnerable; the population could decline significantly should colonies or foraging habitats be disturbed. However, they are locally numerous, commonly seen hunting voles along roadsides in winter, and in summer, happily ridding suburban ponds of pesky orange fish.