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Blue herons and garden ponds

Contrary to its artificial image that is often used as decoration at garden ponds, a lifelike blue heron usually isn’t welcome in the proximity of ponds. At larger ponds the presence of a blue heron is rather a blessing than a pest because the bird skilfully catches the sick fishes, thus maintaining a healthy fish population. However, in small garden ponds it can wreak havoc amongst the often pricey fishes. A blue heron is a completely protected bird. If we want to keep our fishes in our pond, we have to look for animal friendly solutions.

Solution

At a small deep pond in which the heron can’t stand in the water because it’s too deep, it can help to stretch some fishing threads around the side of the pond, at a height of approximatively 25 centimetres. These threads will hinder the heron when walking. At shallow ponds you can stretch some fishing threads criss-cross over the pond to make it difficult for the bird to walk and fish in it.

If you have a garden pond that is surrounded by a high fence or trees, you can stretch fishing threads over the water surface at a height of 2 meters. The heron’s wings will touch the threads when it approaches, startling it and thus preventing it from returning. Visitors of your garden will easily walk under these threads.

If you stretch fishing thread the heron will stay away after a few days. However, a pond with clearly visible fishes remains very attractive to blue herons. The presence of an abundance of water plants, deep ends and hovering stones or bushes/trees offer protection to the fishes and make it difficult for the heron. Moving objects such as little wind mills, fountains, etc. can also deter herons.

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