The Heron

Watching and waiting

Watching and waiting

One of the reasons that I started blogging was to write stories about the ponds that I have built at my home. I love all things nature and anything associated with it so I set up a video surveillance system that is directed at the ponds.

My interest in doing so is to see what happens when I am not around (and what the dogs get up to). Recently, the Big Blue Heron has come snooping around and is now a very regular visitor. Yesterday, he was back on four different occasions (at different times) in an effort to help himself to breakfast or lunch or maybe even dinner.

Usually, I am here and when I walk out into the yard, the heron flies off with the sound of the barking dogs to accompany him but yesterday, I had a doctor’s appointment taking me away from the house for a while. The problem with the dogs and probably because they are dogs, they are active when I am around but when I am away, they tend to sleep. One of them always sleeps outside unless the weather is real cold and she has this sixth sense that alerts her when something is afoot like a heron or a coon. Judging by this video, it took her almost five minutes after the heron came down before she became aware of its presence. So much for that alarm system…

The video is not very good quality and I apologize for that but it is interesting enough to watch. This time, the heron does not take any fish although when he landed the day before, I was so busy taking pictures and trying not to frighten it that he did grab one before he flew off. BTW, I call it a “he” but have no idea of its gender.

Just to make life more difficult for the heron, I have now added fencing across the top of the wall that divides the ponds. The fences are all electrified with little doggy shocker in the hope that he will get a jolt enough to scare him away for ever. I forgot to mention that I have wire fences around the big pond and the double pond that are about three to four feet tall to act as a deterrent to the heron. You can see them in the video.

I mention it in the video but the wall divides the goldfish pond from one of the Koi ponds. The Koi tend to hang out in the area of that wall and the heron would only have to turn around to find them. I am quite sure that he intentionally is going after the goldfish as they are small and easy for him to swallow and I am not sure if it could even lift the big Koi out of the water. Many of them weigh 10-15 pounds and maybe more. and their girth is such that he would have trouble in swallowing them. I’m hoping that’s the case as if I have to share the fish, let it be the goldfish.

As much trouble as he is giving me, he is still a beautiful bird. They are huge and their wingspan must be almost six feet and when they stretch their necks, are almost five feet tall. I view it as an ongoing contest between me as the fish owner and the heron who after all is just hungry and doing what comes naturally to him.

Darn heron…

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