Yet another bird ID

There’s a watershed/greenbelt across the street from a park on the lake There are a half dozen, rather tall, deciduous trees, with large nests in the upper branches.

Since early Febuary there has been one or two huge birds standing on the edge of each nest. They’re bigger than seagulls. They might be about the size of canada geese.
They have round bodies with short tails. Their bodies are perpendicular to the legs, which are moderate in length. Their beaks are long and slender. They look to be either gray or mottled black and white.

The beaks look longer than geese. And do geese even nest in trees? I’ll try to get a picture.

Wow, Washington’s fish and wildlife page is every bit as non-intuitive as my state’s. I can’t even find a list of native species on your site.

Anyway, I did find some photos on the page. Do the birds look like this? (Great Blue Heron) I sort of doubt it, given you think they’re geese size, but that’s the only thing remotely like your description that they bothered to take photos of. Maybe this site will help you if that’s not it. There are pictures of a lot of birds.

Geese nest on the ground. Herons nest in trees, and that description sounds remotely like herons, but what I don’t know about PNW birds would fill the crater of Mount Rainier.

Try this guy.

It sounds very much like Great Blue Herons to me, and they apparently do nest at Lake Washington.

Wow! That was quick. Thank you.

Given the description I’m liking the night herons or green herons.

It seems to me that you are confirming that Great Blue Heron is correct, but since other possibilities have been suggested could you be specific?

Sorry, yes, the great Blue Heron is the winner. I’ll still try to get a picture, but the pictures on the links match.

There’s a nest at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Someone did the right thing and immediately protected them and forced tourists to keep their distance. (You can look through tripod telescopes they’ve set up, but you can’t antagonize them nor get too close).

It’s paid off - most of the offspring return to the same location so now there’s a dozen or so. Quite an amazing sight.

Dang. I missed it. I was going to guess Night Heron.

Cool. I’d rejected it, even though great blues can appear grayish in some light, because I felt sure you would have mentioned the long legs. Sorry for the bum steer!

I still haven’t been able to get pictures. I didn’t mention the legs because the nests are so high that it’s hard to tell how long the legs were. Even from the road, the nests are almost directly above.