It can be difficult trying to deter a heron from regularly visiting your pond. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways you can control and deter these pests. You may find that one technique is not enough, and therefore, using a combination of different deterrents. In the following post we have put together a number of recommendations, and look at the subject of deterring herons in a bit more detail.
Recommendations For Heron Deterrent
STV International Defenders Decoy Heron
The Defenders Decoy Heron is a durable and realistic heron deterrent that stands 30 inches tall. It is waterproof and weatherproof and provides protection for your fish and aquatic life in your pond from the real thing.
There is a fixing stake that is detachable that secures the heron in place. For the price, it is reasonable and affordable option.
PondXpert Pond Protector Floating Fish Pond Net
The PondXpert Pond Protector is a floating fish pond net that is made up of 30 rings that interlock that stops access to the pond from herons and other fish-eating animals. It also includes 60 ties that connect to join those rings to provide you with an efficient and effective barrier.
Home Defence Scarecrow Motion Activated Animal Deterrent
This deterrent from Home Defence acts like a scarecrow activated by motion. With this device in place, whenever pests of any kind, such as herons, foxes etc. come along the water sprays out to scare them away.
The spray sensitivity can be adjusted and it can rotate through a full 260 degrees. It is very easy to install into a normal hose connection and use.
Hamble Green Blade GN202 Black Garden & Pond Netting
The cheapest item on our list, the Hamble Green Blade GN202 Black Garden and pond netting provides suitable protection from butterflies and birds. With reinforced edges for easy fixing, it also prevents tangles from occurring.
The netting has been constructed to handle regular exposure to UV for a strong, rot-proof and re-usable deterrent against all animals. It also keeps autumn leaves from the pond.
Reflective Surfaces And Mirrors
Alongside the deterrents recommended above, such as netting, water sprayers and life-like decoys, mirrors and other reflective surfaces can also be used.
The goal of any heron deterrent is just that – to deter them by causing them panic and scaring them away. With that in mind then, it makes perfect and logical sense that presenting them with an image of themselves might scare them away.
This is not as commonly used as other forms of deterrents, but is actually particularly effective. especially if you have a smaller sized pond. Mirrors, when used in this way, are normally placed or mounted at the opposite of a pond where herons land. So when a heron approaches your pond, it sees the reflection and gets spooked. Even if it thinks it could be a decoy, as it continues to approach, it will see its own reflection moving and this is often enough to scare it away.
While mirrors may be odd in a garden, they are sometimes better than decoys because herons can often tell eventually that decoys are not the real thing. However as the mirror or reflective surface shows a moving image, it can confuse even the most clever of herons.
The larger the mirror or reflective surface you use, the more coverage it will provide, ensuring that any approaching heron can see the reflection from a full range of directions.
Understanding Herons Better
A large species of wading birds, herons are found across the western hemisphere. If you are the owner of a pond in America, you’ve probably had at least one heron visit your pond, particularly if you keep fish. Other places where herons, the Grey variety in particular, are commonplace is across continental Europe and throughout the UK. These heron species eat large insects, their larvae, frogs and of course, small fish. They choose to look for prey in garden ponds because Koi and goldfish are easy to catch for a fully grown heron.
Although pond owners and fish keepers consider herons to be a nuisance, they are both protected. In the US, blue herons are protected, along with their breeding grounds and nests, on both a federal and state level. It is therefore, illegal to capture or kill herons without a permit. The UK Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 states that killing herons could lead to hefty fines and even incarceration.
Are You Missing Fish? Do You Have A Heron Problem?
It may be if you are missing fish, it could be that you have a heron problem even if you haven’t spotted one of these amazing, but pesky birds. They usually catch food from ponds either late at night or early in the morning. This is so they don’t have much competition from that time at night from other predators.
Some common signs that show you might have herons visiting your pond include:
- Feathers on the surface of the water
- Damaged plants
- Ripped nets
- Injured fish
These birds are clever and quickly familiarize themselves with feeding grounds and surroundings. As a pond that does not have protection is a great place for herons to get an easy meal, once they realize this, they will start to frequent it more and more.
Because of their intelligence level, they can be hard to deter. As we noted further up the page, the best deterrent for herons therefore is a mixture, as this stops them from getting to use to one particular setup.
While they are stubborn and crafty, there are still methods, some of which were highlighted above, that can be used to keep them away and provide adequate protection for the fish and other animals you keep in your pond. One of the best ways to figure out the approach to deterring herons from your pond is understanding them better.
Do Herons Work In Groups Or Are They Solitary?
Unlike other kinds of birds, herons are very solitary and prefer to catch food on their own. However, if they are hungry and familiar with your pond and the surrounding area, they won’t think twice about landing next to another bird and feeding.
It is important to note, if you choose to use a decoy, that a heron that has been making trips to your pond and garden will stop for a few days if they notice a decoy or another heron. However, they will quickly build up their confidence and return in the not too distant future. Regardless of how much they prefer to do things on their own – an easy meal is an easy meal, even if they have to spend it with someone else.