October 29, 2004

Ever Had an Univited Dinner Guest?

Here is today's Pond Q&A, with a question about what to do if you
have a Blue Heron as an univited dinner guest.

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Question>

I recently had a visitor to my pond. Unfortunately he came for
dinner.

Since he wiped us out of fish. What can we do for next year to
prevent the heron from feeding out of our pond?

Bernadette Gibson

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Answer>

Hi Bernadette,

Sorry to hear about your univited 'guest' -- it's always hard
losing fish, especially to predators!

There are a wide variety of different predator controls, for
keeping unwanted animals away from your pond. Some are
effective, and some are not as effective.

The most simple, is to place pond netting over the pond - and for
many, this is the only solution that works. Herons can be very
smart, and if they really want your fish, will be bold at times -
so netting the pond (although unattractive) may be a good idea.

Personally, I couldn't stand to have my pond netted, so I'm using
a heron decoy. However, they're not always effective. We've
been selling them for years, with pretty good success..

But I'll never forget one time when a guy came in a week after
buying one, and said that it worked great for a week - but then
he came out and saw the heron trying to MATE with the decoy!

So, nothing is 100%. The key with a heron decoy also, is to make
sure you move it around every week or so, so the heron doesn't
'catch on.'

There are also mini-electronic fences that you can buy, which
work best for racoons or other small animals who are eating out
of the pond - but probably won't work well for herons.

Some people also string fishing line across the pond, to try
and trip up the heron, which can be effective - but the best
preventative strategy is just to have a deep pond, with steep
sides, so the heron can't wade it for a snack.

Lastly, there's also a relatively new solution called a
'Scarecrow' which is essentially a motion activated sprinkler
head, shaped like a giant bird head. Once anything moves in the
field of view, it gets a nice long spray of water. I've also
heard these work very well...

I have one, but have never hooked it up. I can just see myself
walking out to the pond, half-awake on a Saturday morning, and
getting a nice ice-cold shower by The Scarecrow!

So, I'm saving that for a last resort...

Hope this helps.

Brett

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To learn how you can protect your pond from unwanted dinner
guests, and prevent them from getting eaten... Click here now:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/scarecrow
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Posted by bfogle at October 29, 2004 11:43 PM
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