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  • Results 1 to 19 of 19

    Thread: Blue Heron Ice Fishing

    1. #1
      DebiCraig's Avatar
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      Blue Heron Ice Fishing

      For some reason, I had a Blue Heron that decided to stay in Michigan for the winter. I came home from errands yesterday morning and found him standing on the ice in my pond. All the fish are at the bottom of the pond and itís too deep for him to get into the pond. I did go out and scare him away because he was pecking at the ice and I didnít want him to send shock waves to stress out the fish. Iím sure he is starving and doesnít now what else to do but try to get my fish.
      Well, this morning my husband got up and saw something in the bog area of the pond and went out to see what it was. The blue heron was sleeping standing up with his wings over his head.

      My husband scared him away but it took awhile for the Blue Heron to react, he walked away and I believe he is hiding somewhere near the pond. Any suggestions on what to do? I feel so bad for him because winter isnít even here yet and Iím sure he will starve without any food.

    2. #2
      ademink's Avatar
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      Since they are protected, I would probably contact DNR and tell them that you think that he is in trouble health-wise and ask what can be done. There are likely certified wildlife rehabbers that can assist or DNR may come do something. Very sweet of you to help the bird, Debi.

      Here is rehabber contact info:

      https://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/
      Andrea
      Koi Health Care Committee Member



    3. #3
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      Thanks Andrea, I called one of the numbers on that website that specializes in helping large birds. Left a message, hopefully she calls back soon.

    4. #4
      ademink's Avatar
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      Keep us posted! You may want to call some that aren't even in your area for advice. They can tell you how to help it in the meantime.
      Andrea
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    5. #5
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      Yes, I called a few of them. Many of them say “on vacation until Dec. 26”... but, I kept on calling and talked to a few people. This one place “ARC” called me back and they are going to get with their director to see what can be done. Blue Herons are extremely hard to trap. She was going to suggest minnows in a rubber tub to eat, but this is only if he couldn’t fly, which he can. I will keep you posted.Name:  57E99F36-E013-4379-992A-D8BF18E8DC82.jpg
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    6. #6
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      You are in a zone where herons live year round. I don't think you should worry about it. And as much as you can leave it alone the better it will be. Every time it is trying to rest and you chase it, it is wasting valuable energy.

      edit to add:
      this link shows that herons winter not only in all of lower Michigan but even in the U.P.
      http://seagrant.wisc.edu/birds/Great...migration.html

      As an aside, I saw two robins in my yard here in Minnesota just last weekend. Robins do winter here in MN. They cluster in flocks in micro climates created by dense evergreens and spring fed wetlands.
      Last edited by mplskoi; 12-20-2018 at 02:26 PM.

    7. #7
      BWG is offline Senior Member
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      Scare it away and let nature take its course. If it can fly its able to find better fishing grounds. Worst thing would be to make it dependent on fish out of a rubber tub all winter season and ruin its ability to find and adapt to natural winter fishing areas. Your pond is not a natural environment suitable for this bird.

      The longer this is put off and winter progresses it's outcome will diminish.
      Last edited by BWG; 12-20-2018 at 01:24 PM.

    8. #8
      RichToyBox's Avatar
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      I would get some bird netting and set it over the pond, a foot or so off the ice. This will discourage his attempts to break the ice and go fishing, and if it is there all winter, may keep him from coming back in the spring.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."

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    9. #9
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      It’s 8:00PM and pitch black, and he’s out there right now trying his hardest to get my fish. It warmed up today, so the fish are a little more active. He’s just waiting for one to get close enough to the top! So, I went out there and turned off the underwater lights, dropped the bubblers a bit more on one side so the water is moving on the surface so it will be harder for him to see them. I do have a net I can pull across on Friday. I won’t be able to sleep tonight because I will be looking out the window for him! I’m still waiting for a call back from the ARC. I’m pretty sure there is not much they can do anyway! This heron is very determined and I’m sure he won’t give up!

    10. #10
      ademink's Avatar
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      Do you think it's a juvenile? It looks small.
      Andrea
      Koi Health Care Committee Member



    11. #11
      gray cat's Avatar
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      Last December a Heron was standing on my net trying to stab my fish. It was the biggest one I had ever seen at my pond. I scared it off. The next morning I put my 6 mil greenhouse plastic over the pond. A few hours later, here it came. It walked up to the pond and onto the plastic. It remembered seeing the fish the day before. I watched it walk around on the plastic. Then it began stabbing holes and looking down at the fish! For several days I had to keep running it off. My cover was left with lots of holes that I couldn't reach to repair.
      The sooner you scare it away the better off you & your fish will be. The heron will find food some place else.
      Nancy



      Koiphen 2013 Koi Person of the Year!

    12. #12
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      He might be..he does look pretty healthy....

    13. #13
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      I wonder if anyone does like I do?

      I have herons year round it seems... I take cheap bird netting and roll it up in a long tube shape like razor wire on the top of a fence, and
      then place it all around the perimeter of the pond. It is about 2' wide and 2' tall. Sometimes I'll place two of them making it about 4' wide.
      If it manages to walk over it it'd be in the pond... iow the netting is right on the pond parameter. I've not lost a fish to one yet.

      Just fwiw...
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    14. #14
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      We decided to put the net over the pond on the ice part and part of the open water. Didn’t even stop him!!!! He landed right on top of it pulling it down and then started pecking through the net and the ice. I’ve been out there at least 3 times in the last hour scaring him away. I am know sitting in our tv room watching for him...every time I see him, I take a flash light and shine it on him, and he is flying away....LOL..... I don’t know what else to do.......I also just read that Blue Herons can swim! Great.

    15. #15
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      Today was a very stressful day for me....the net has been removed because the Blue Heron had it tangled around his feet. He literally destroyed the net. The net was pulled very tight lifted about one foot above the pond. It was raining this morning, so most of the ice had melted, but he still continued to peck at the ice that was still on the pond through the netting. I had to call a friend to come over and help me remove the entire net and we were able to get it removed from his body. Thank goodness. He flew away and I thought for sure he would not return, but he did. So, I set up a radio outside playing “Christmas music” and he has not returned. I know it’s the holidays and people are busy, but no one from the Wildlife called me back to help. I feel bad for him, but I can’t have him get my Koi either. I have a webcam setup to alert me when he returns. I think scaring him off is my only choice right now. I’m sure my neighbors are wondering what the heck I am doing playing Christmas music outside, but it’s the only thing I can think of doing right now. It’s very strange, because I didn’t have ONE blue heron all summer visit my pond. I will keep you posted. I want to thank all of you here on KOIPHEN for helping me with your suggestions. I so much appreciate you. Happy Holidays!!!

    16. #16
      gray cat's Avatar
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      I hope he doesn't return. Good luck.
      Nancy



      Koiphen 2013 Koi Person of the Year!

    17. #17
      Nevermore is offline Member
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      I know they are persistent... but yours seems exceptionally so. How are you scaring him away ... I ask because when we have had them... they always would come back if we would just would open the door and yell... but they wouldn’t come back when I would send my boy running full speed from the front yard to the back pond (so the bird wouldn’t see him coming)... and he would start banging on a metal pot and screaming like a madman. I’ve also did the same myself but had a pot of water to toss at him. I’ll sure the neighbors and the bird is telling his bird buddies about the crazy people .... But the bird didn’t come back after that.... though some neighbors have moved.

      Or since your ice is melting... can you put up a perimeter wire fence to keep it from even getting to the water

      Good luck

    18. #18
      tbullard is offline Senior Member
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      You had him trapped in a net and he survived? Sounds like you missed out on a good alibi

    19. #19
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      Well, blue heron hasn’t been back. I think sneaking up on him and screaming as loud as I could scared him. I know he is still in the neighborhood because I see him flying around, so he is getting food somewhere. I do have a webcam on my pond so I can watch on my phone if he shows up.

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