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Heron Proofing

Discussion in 'Water Gardening' started by Jurassic Gardener, May 7, 2019.

  1. Jurassic Gardener

    Jurassic Gardener Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi all,

    Any tips on heron Proofing my small pond without losing the aesthetics? It's a 5ft by 3ft formal pond surrounded by slabs and then gravel. I have no proof a heron is visiting as all my fish seem to still be there, but they hide constantly. I thought it might have been my fountain too strong spooking them, but I've since changed that to a gently overflowing urn and they are still in hiding. I have some really beautiful goldfish too and I would dearly love to see them in open water!

    I really don't want to net the pond. Any other ideas? I wondered about making a rudimentary pergola kind of structure from bamboo canes with a reed roof or something?

    A photo of my pond attached to give some context.

    Thank you very much!

    IMG_20190502_140334.jpg
     
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    • mazambo

      mazambo Gardener

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      @Jurassic Gardener may I ask how deep your pond is? When I had mine the fish would drop down to the depths when anyone approached the pond then come back up when they felt safe or when I fed them.
       
    • Sandy Ground

      Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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      Really easy to make a pond heron proof. All that is needed is a full size statue of a heron that stands on the edge of the pond looking towards it. At least, thats what we do here.

      IMG_3547.JPG

      There are plenty koi in the pond shown, they have never been touched.
       
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      • WeeTam

        WeeTam Total Gardener

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        I would net it. We tried a few things, water jet,bird scare tape and a decoy heron. The net drawn taught will be hard to see and will save your fish.
         
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        • Glenfish

          Glenfish Apprentice Gardener

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          It doesn’t look great but a decoy heron lying on its side by the pond can often work, change its position now and again.
           
        • Doghouse Riley

          Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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          As a contributor to a koi keeping message board, the topic of herons comes up regularly.
          Wires don't work, they can step over them. Nor do any dummy anything. They'll visit suburban ponds very early in the morning, before people wake up, so you'll rarely see them.

          If you've a dummy heron and think it stops other herons visiting your pool, you're sadly mistaken. Herons are ungainly but they aren't daft. It just means someone else's pond is easier for them to get at the fish so don't bother with yours or come before you're up and you never see them. Orr there's no herons in the area.

          Herons can stand motionless for very long periods of time, waiting for fish to come up.

          The best deterent is black nylon mesh. They sell it by the yard at World of Water. Stretch it tightly over the pond a few inches above the surface and secure with pegs. It'll keep herons from pinching your fish and keep out unwanted leaves from trees. It becomes invisible from a few yards away.
           
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          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Super Gardener

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            Congratulations on your garden and pond. Really is very attractive.
            I tend to go along with netting. However take a look at the herons beak, that's a long one. Perhaps netting above head height. Just a thought.
             
          • Doghouse Riley

            Doghouse Riley Head Gardener

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            World of Water sell net in three different gauges. So a mesh with holes around 1 cm in diameter is ideal. Believe me it works. Herons won't want to get their beaks trapped in it. "They'll have see it before, as they get around."
            There'll be plenty of more accessible ponds for them.
             
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