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Re: The Dreaded Heron

Subject: Re: The Dreaded Heron
by Otter on 2/9/2009 22:07:32

If the net were tightly stretched a foot or two above the water, the herons couldn't get close enough to stab your fish.

An outdoor dog is one of the best deterrents. I've never heard of anyone loosing fish while a dog was on the job, though I suppose it's possible if the heron were bold and the dog were either lazy or fast asleep. And I suppose it's possible a dog might learn to fish, but I've never heard of that either.

Heron statues may help, but I think a humanoid scarecrow is more likely to be effective. With any passive scarecrow, you have to move the thing around or the herons will figure out it's just furniture. Also the boldest birds will land anyway, and when the scarecrow doesn't do anything, they'll go fishing. For this reason, a scarecrow that moves in the wind will probably work better than one that doesn't.

There are lots of other things that will work some of the time. People who have those motion-triggered sprinklers seem pretty satisfied, but that won't work for winter, and you'll probably get soaked a few times too. Trip wires will help if you can guard all approaches to the pond and there's no place to land inside the "fence", but these can be quite effective at tripping ponders too. I think a pet fencer would be more likely to work. Herons are cautious birds, and should give up on the pond entirely after a good jolt. I seriously doubt they'd persist through enough zaps to figure the thing out. But if you forget to turn it off when you work around the pond, you'll probably wish you'd used fishline instead. Then there's that traditional japanese gizmo. I forget what it's called, but water runs into it until the container reaches the tipping point, then a loud wood on wood whack and the sound of rushing water should scare most herons off. Of course, the noise may drive you or your neighbors to distraction as well. Shooting the bird with an air-soft gun (plastic BB's) is non-lethal and is said to scare them off for good, but this may be illegal where the law forbids harassment of herons, and you'll need some other defense when you're not watching.