Photo Credit Manchester-Monkey
I love birds! Let’s get that said right up front. However, when I was driving into our neighborhood yesterday, I saw a bird, and, from the way my stomach flipped, you would have thought I spotted a five foot spider! There, standing near the edge of my neighbor’s pond, stood a Blue Heron. A beautiful, majestic bird to be sure. Unfortunately, though, one that has nothing on it’s mind but making your favorite koi its next snack! Fall is a dangerous time with birds being on the move. The end of September starts the migrating season. They might stop by to see you and to check out what’s on your menu.
There are a few tricks that might make them move on to the next “diner”.
- Put a net over your pond (check out Bill’s piece from earlier this week on his favorite pond net)
- Keep a dog on guard duty (unfortunately this needs to be 24/7)
- Install fish caves or tunnels for your fish to hide in
- Heron do not like alligators. Alligators do like Heron. It’s much safer to use a decoy in your yard
- Go back in time to make your pond deeper
- They are extremely territorial and don’t like having others around. Having a life-like heron decoy might make them decide to not stop at your pond
Photo credit Golden 55
Remember, when your water temp cools down, the predator birds will have a more successful time fishing. Fish have slower reflexes and are easier prey now that their metabolism has slowed down. Given a choice, these birds will chose your clear pond water with brightly colored fish over murky, deep, lakes and rivers with camouflaged fish. They are tireless and will stand perfectly still for hours waiting for a chance at your fish. If that doesn’t work, they will even regurgitate into the water to lure your pets within striking distance.
A word of warning, no matter how much you love your scaled pets, every animal deserves to not be physically hurt by us humans, even if they are being a pest. These birds are protected; there are stiff fines for harming endangered species! This means you will have to outsmart them. Please let me know if you have discovered ways to do this. Good luck!