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  • Blue Heron

    Are Blue Herons a protected bird? I just had one ravage my pond and take 5 of my beloved koi I now only have one left.
  • #2

    You should ask the Dept. of Fish and Game. It varies depending on where you live. I must say that killing it is a bit of an extreme action to take right off the bat with an animal just doing what it was born to do. It's as much you own fault as the bird's. Try buying bigger koi or stinging up some fishing lines.
    B.Scott
    Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat

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    • #3

      Originally posted by B.Scott
      It's as much you own fault as the bird's. Try buying bigger koi or stinging up some fishing lines.
      B.Scott
      You have got to be kidding wouldnt you say that 15"+ is big enough? I totally understand that it is natural for that heron to have done what it has. It is also natural for humans to protect his/her loved ones.
      Just my .02

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      • #4

        Yes they are protected birds and from what I understand a lot of them are banded so they can follow the birds. I would be careful about taking one of them out. If I were you I would just net my pond untill they get tired and leave. I dont blame you for wanting to get rid of it though as we put a lot of money into our koi and dont want anything eating them. High priced meal for a bird and the pain it cause you is enough to make you want to kill it.

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        • #5

          Pat,
          Check exactly what the law SAIDS, do not take the word of law enforcement. They slant the truth to fit their beliefs. They are human.
          I believe the law allows for you to kill blue herons if they are destroying your livestock...don't forget to word your question to the Game and fish that way....
          "destroying my livestock on my property"

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          • #6

            i personally dont believe killing the heron will solve your problem. because others will come. you need a solution that will prevent ANY heron from turning your pond into a buffet.

            things like, scarecrow water sprays ... fishing lines ... net the pond ... roof over your pond ...

            but if revenge was your purpose. thats a different matter, and i would probably do the same. and i wouldnt ask the authorities that/any question IF i planned to kill some herons. (dont attract attention) thats my .02

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            • #7

              My .02's.....Save the bird some trouble and put yup string or some netting....B.Scott is right the bird is only doing what nature says to do and that is to eat....but then again man has been known to destroy things since the beginning of time, even other animals(DoDo Bird)....
              The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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              • #8

                For the record, Blue heron's are FEDERALLY PROTECTED!in the U.S.......

                also for the record they will gladly spear larger koi for the joy of injuring something live. They may not be able to eat them but now you have to deal with a large puncture wound.

                so Bottom line is these birds are territorial. protect yourself and they move on....that is until late summer fall when the young of the year try and carve out a hunting ground of their own. These guys are not only brazen but stupid.

                They usually perch in the highest tree at dawn and survey the grounds. once they find a level open patch to flutter down to they will walk a great distance to make their raid.

                my best defence was to form a grid work of crossing foot squares over the top of the pond some 10 feet high with 20 pond fishing line. manys a mornin'
                i walked out to feed the fish and would spot busted lines and a few spare grey feathers. While illeagle to be in poessesion of, they made the best steelhead flies when tied in the Spey style. So named for the river in the UK they they were first designed to fish in.

                manys the time downstream from state Salmon hatcheries I would find dead,floating heron and kingfishers so i know some organizations are allowed to break the law in their removal. At the blue berry farm we have a german shepard that literally runs them off the property....
                Dick Benbow

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                • #9

                  I personally have about 30 nesting pairs within a mile of my house. Haven't had any trouble for about 10 years now when I scared off the last one with a slingshot and some soft rubber jacks balls as ammo. A paintball gun (don't get em in the pond) would work well also. Non lethal and you would know if it came back because of the paint mark.


                  B.Scott
                  Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat

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                  • #10

                    Definitely protected - don't kill it. Be careful if you get the opportunity to handle it as well. They will turn their head sideways, open their beak, and try to poke both your eyes out at once - very scary! For some, great blues are sacred and mystical. With me, its a love/hate relationship.

                    Once he has found your fish, he is certain to be back - probably at dawn tomorrow. The scare crow thing will not work for very long - they get used to the shower. Fishing line works very well if done properly. However, they will study the situation and can often find a way around or through the strands unless you have given it an equal amount of thought. If they cannot fly in, they will walk in. Only netting is fool-proof.

                    -steve hopkins

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                    • #11

                      Blue Heron

                      Imagination - losing your lovely koi in front of your eyes by Blue heron?
                      it happened to me few years back - A Blue Heron took away my special
                      Kohaku that won a baby chamipon 10 days early at SFBAKC koi show in
                      2003 ;-((

                      I used fishing line - 20" above ground around the perimeter of my pond.

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                      • #12

                        Heron, during nesting feed 24 hours a day. They will poke holes in any size fish. I have seen 30+" koi with large holes in them from herons. I also saw a kingfisher try to pick up a 15" koi from my own pond. A kingfisher is slightly larger than a robin or starling but with a much larger beak. (the koi survived and healed nicely) Netting works for the kingfisher and may work for heron but I had a determined heron get under a net and devastate my goldfish pond. I doubt if it got any more than its head and neck under the net. Later after I moved the net further from the edge of the pond and anchored it down very, very well, the heron crawled under my deck and attempted to reach the pond from the that side. The deck is only 30" off of the ground.

                        I have used a scarecrow water sprinkler but I am not 100 % convinced that it will be effective all the time. I am using an electronic heron distress call from Weitech Industries. This is not an inexpensive unit but after losing several times its cost in koi, it became a bargin. Especially after my wife lost her favorite koi and then cost was no object. Make sure you get the heron distress call and not some other bird scarer. (I had difficulty getting this particular unit.) When I purchased mine four or five years ago it also included a deterent for the green night heron and great horned owl. Make sure you hide the speaker so the birds cannot tell the source. I have not had a heron problem since I purchased this.

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                        • #13

                          wonder if your Mayor would like to borrow that unit? Heard in the media that he's having quite a few problems.... and has been doing some squaking of his own (which the media has recorded for later playback!)
                          Dick Benbow

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                          • #14

                            Thanks for all the advise everyone, it has been so disheartening to know that there is nothing that is fullproof, I too have used shiney floating devises, deer netting, motion sensing impact sprinklers and none of them have worked. What worries me the most is that this Heron will teach its young to hunt in my pond as well, so it appears there will be no end in sight. I may have to give John Seifert idea a shot with the distress call gadget. By the way how much are we talking here?

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                            • #15

                              I don't think there is one true fool proof way to keep a Heron out. I have lost 3 fish since the first of the year, one was stabbed. Netting is good if you can build a "tent" over the pond with it, other than that they'll walk on it, and still be able to stab a fish. I have been going to make up my own version of the "scarecrow", but haven't had time. What works best for me is a okie "fence" made from yellow caution tape for right now.

                              Basically you have to think like the bird to beat them. I have a 7' tall fence on 2 sides of my pond, and my pond is 44" deep minimum. so for me the best bet is to build a small fence around the perimeter of my pond so they can't land in my yard and walk up next to it. It won't have to be that tall, just tall enough to keep him from firing his beak at a fish.

                              Next year I plan on putting in "Sail Shades" or a arbor of some kind over most of my yard which should do the trick, especially since the bird knows there is a dog in the yard, and I doubt would take the chance of landing in my front yard and walking in. My dog has free roam of my whole front and back yard, so right now she's not much good, as the bird knows where the dog is, I am sure.
                              “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed” Adolf Hitler


                              Chris~

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