• Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Awesome
  • Bemused
  • Cocky
  • Cool
  • Crazy
  • Crying
  • Depressed
  • Down
  • Drunk
  • Embarrased
  • Enraged
  • Friendly
  • Geeky
  • Godly
  • Happy
  • Hateful
  • Hungry
  • Innocent
  • Meh
  • Piratey
  • Poorly
  • Sad
  • Secret
  • Shy
  • Sneaky
  • Tired
  • Results 1 to 8 of 8

    Thread: The largest Great Blue Heron I have ever seen in my life just flew over my pond!

    1. #1
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
      One Poet's Garden is offline Senior Member
      is Digging. And then digging some
      more!
       
      Feeling:
      Friendly
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      Just outside the beltway
      Posts
      286

      The largest Great Blue Heron I have ever seen in my life just flew over my pond!

      Oh my word! I was cleaning up from breakfast. The kitchen window looks out over the back - second story - deck. It's only 20-30 yards to the Anacostia river, and the floodplain is mostly covered in trees. But there's one allee, a wide clear space slanting diagonally from the riverbank, across the floodplain, past the lower garden, thence over the greenhouse and pond, to a space where a very large pine fell a few years ago. I have a picture of James, standing on the fallen trunk. So I was looking out the window and here the great bird came, clearly seeking altitude after having taken off from the riverbank, making good speed. He was immense. And quite silent: the dogs didn't even bark. I was so stunned I left off what I was doing and walked out onto the deck. Another large bird flew from the bank up into the trees. I was focused on that bird when the heron came flying back through the pine tree gap, passing not 20 feet away from me and angling back up, over the river, above the trees, and heading upstream.

      Not so long ago, I would have been thrilled to have a great blue heron as a passing "guest." But with an exposed koi pond, things have changed. I must be crazy trying to build a pond here. And it's not just herons - we have osprey too. And Kingfishers. I've seen the raccoons myself. Our work is being featured in an anthology of ecopoems next month, and the Save The River foundation running it lists otters as denizens of the river valley.

      I'm so conflicted. When I told Darling Bride about the heron, she at first thought I was excited to see it. And we must mention: this is the very section of the river where Rachel Carson took her daily walks while writing Silent Spring. The idea that it's flourishing, with so much wildlife, is a major achievement for the environmental movement. I love putting food out for "Rachel's Birds" every winter. It's actually an honor, which I cherish. But I really, really don't want my koi to be turned into wildlife sushi!

      Best,

      Bill

    2. #2
      PaulJoe's Avatar
      PaulJoe is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Dec 2019
      Location
      San Mateo, CA
      Posts
      5
      Bill,

      Two years ago I had a similar experience with the herons soon after I built my koi pond. My gosh, the wingspan on those birds is unbelievable. But I quickly solved my problem. I strung 28 gauge stainless steel wire from the trees surrounding the pond in a criss-cross manner about 10-14 feet above the pond. Herons have amazing eyesight and can actually see the wires but won't come anywhere near the koi pond for fear of damaging their wings. There is also no easy way for them to take off if they ever were to land. We humans can barely even see the wires. I have to point out the wires to guests when they inquire as to how I keep the herons away. I learned this technique many years ago when our kids were in middle school. The lunch area was being inundated at that time with seagulls until the school district implemented the same wire approach. What a simple and humane way to ward off seabirds.

      PaulJoe

      P.S. Let me know if you want to learn how I solved our raccoon problem using another humane technique.

    3. #3
      stevek's Avatar
      stevek is offline Supporting Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Jan 2010
      Location
      wakefield, RI
      Posts
      1,147
      If you or your significant other are home during the day, I have a possible solution ...It has worked for me on 3 separate occasions , but it takes some perserverance....

      Here's what happened in my cases...I wake up one morning , look out at the pond, and see a great blue heron at the edge of my pond. I immediately run out and scare him away. He usually flies to the nearest big tree, hoping to wait me out. A couple hours later, he flies back down to the pond, and I scare him off again. He goes back to a different tree and waits another few hours, and tries again, but I am there to greet him. He eventually flies off for the night. I set the alarm for just before daybreak, and am ready for him. Sure enough, he shows up while there is barely any light, and walks up to the pond, but I am ready to scare him off. Back into the tree, and the process repeats itself.
      The good news is that the visits become less and less over a few days, as he never got to eat ! As I remember, he came 4 mornings in a row, and then gave up. I think I was on call for 5 days before he never came back. Luckily, my ponds are right outside my house, and my TV room has a perfect view out to the ponds. A blue heron flying by definitely catches your attention.
      Like you, I am on a flyway, within a couple miles of the estuary, and with a pond about a 1/2 mile away. Both have blue herons all the time. In my cases, i am assuming it was the same bird, and he learned after a few days that it was not worth spending time at my pond without getting any fish. By the way, I also have wires across the ponds to keep ospreys out. This has worked well over the years.
      You can do a search on Koiphen for other options, as there are posts every year on this. Herons are pretty cagey, and if no one is home, they figure out when the best time to hunt is. Most methods give marginal results at best, unless you use nets over the ponds, but that looks lousy in most cases.

    4. #4
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
      One Poet's Garden is offline Senior Member
      is Digging. And then digging some
      more!
       
      Feeling:
      Friendly
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      Just outside the beltway
      Posts
      286
      Quote Originally Posted by PaulJoe View Post
      P.S. Let me know if you want to learn how I solved our raccoon problem using another humane technique.
      Hmmm... I think I'll use 20 gauge. And yes, I'll bite: What did you do about the raccoons?

      Thanks,

      Bill

    5. #5
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
      One Poet's Garden is offline Senior Member
      is Digging. And then digging some
      more!
       
      Feeling:
      Friendly
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      Just outside the beltway
      Posts
      286
      Quote Originally Posted by stevek View Post
      As I remember, he came 4 mornings in a row, and then gave up.
      Thanks for this idea. I can see training one bird, but the river valley is actually an identified wildlife corridor. It's like an animal superhighway. It'd be the equivalent of standing in the middle of Interstate 5 and shouting "STOP!"

      At least a dozen species would be laughing at me from the trees!

      Thanks,

      Bill

    6. #6
      batman's Avatar
      batman is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2013
      Location
      Gotham
      Posts
      1,245
      Post #2 mentions 28 gauge. I've found 12 gauge much easier to find and more effective.

      Fish to a heron is like crack to an addict. You're not going to train them to stay away. It's in their DNA to put easy fishing first and danger second. Once they find easy fishing it's mapped into their brain and they lack the brain power to access the danger level and move on. Unless you have a good outside guard dog the heron will find an opportunity when you're not home. I live where natural food is very plentiful but they still come for easy pickings.
      The real Batman wears polyester! Don't be fooled by the plastic imposter.

    7. #7
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
      One Poet's Garden is offline Senior Member
      is Digging. And then digging some
      more!
       
      Feeling:
      Friendly
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Location
      Just outside the beltway
      Posts
      286
      Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
      Post #2 mentions 28 gauge. I've found 12 gauge much easier to find and more effective.
      Does it need to be stainless steel, or would galvanized do as well?

      Thanks,

      Bill

    8. #8
      pondfishguy is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Dec 2018
      Location
      Los Angeles
      Posts
      383
      Quote Originally Posted by One Poet's Garden View Post
      Does it need to be stainless steel, or would galvanized do as well?

      Thanks,

      Bill
      All depends on how long you want it to last. Galvanized eventually rusts, depending on the quality determines how long it takes. You can also use fishing line, 60 pounds or higher test

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •