Sneaking Up on the Heron

October 26th, 2007

A couple days ago we had a visitor to the pond…  a Great Blue Heron.   They don’t come by very often, mostly in the spring or fall for a few days.  And I am not a fan of the Heron beyond their beauty, grace and sometimes ungainly nature.  Why?  Because they eat fish!  Normally I wouldn’t haven anything against a bird eating fish, but the Herons that visit are eating my fish!  The fish that I stock, feed and care for… and well, sometimes I eat them myself. 

The Heron doesn’t care what kind of fish, or even if they can swallow the fish.  They will grab a fish and if it’s too big?  Just leave it on the bank and go for more.  In the spring I found a huge Bluegill that the Heron couldn’t swallow laying on the bank half dried up.  And of course I have some smaller Koi that this giant spear of a bird would love to eat.  So generally I try to scare the Heron away, and they try to sneak back when I least expect them. 

But this time I managed to sneak up on the Heron!  It was down by the pond, and warily looking around.  I saw that it was behind a tree, and slowly crept to the pond with the camera, keeping the tree between us.  The Heron’s head turned from side to side, sensing something was happening… then it moved out from the tree to get a better look…

Great Blue Heron behind an Oak tree

 “Awwk!”… it saw me and leapt off the bank in fright, flying out over the water as I snapped a few pictures.   It looked like a giant kite with a neck and legs!

 The Great Blue Heron jumps off the bank taking flight

Then the Heron flew out over the pond and away into the trees.  I don’t know if it ate any fish on this day, but its neck looks kind of full and I haven’t seen my little Koi around… :0 

Great Blue Heron flying over the pond 

And the leaves are really falling everywhere now, especially into the pond where they gather in the corners on the surface of the water.  Isn’t the kaleidoscope of color neat? I like the green White Oak leaf resting in the middle.

Colorful Autumn leaves floating in pond

4 Responses to “Sneaking Up on the Heron”

  1. Aside from the occasional heron, what do you do about koi overpopulation? Can’t they outbreed the other fish and keep everyone stunted?

  2. Great question Pablo- and I don’t know the answer. I’ve only had Koi now for 2-3 years. I haven’t seen any breeding take place, but I also have a robust bass and bluegill population, as well as some channel cats. I’ve read that it shouldn’t be a problem, but time will tell!

  3. […] day for the carnival anyway as I watched a Great Heron this morning by the pond… perhaps the same heron I snuck up on a couple years ago?  It was poised on the shoreline in quiet contemplation (not!), until I saw it […]

  4. […] an easy catch at the expense of our little fish.    When I see them I usually clap my hands or try to sneak up on them…   then they “Croawwwk!” loudly and fly […]

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