Water Feature Q & A
Q: I have a hungry heron visiting my pond. What can I do besides a net? P.S. Is it legal to shoot a heron in the state of Virginia? – Earl of Virginia
A: A fish lovers nightmare…the heron! Ever wake up in the morning, walk out to your water feature with a cup of coffee (or orange juice for you non-coffee drinkers) and discover a heron eating one of your precious koi (see left)? Your heart begins to race and your not sure what to do, you grab the nearest broom and charge out to the heron like there’s no tomorrow! Are you tired of this? Well here are a couple of options for deterring and protecting your fish.
The Motion Activated Scarecrow: This motion-sensored sprinkler is a great way to deter not only herons but other predators as well. The sprinkler simply hooks up to a garden hose and is triggered by motion. There is a dial on the sprinkler that adjusts the sensitivity. When a heron/predator approaches sensor, it shoots a 3-second burst of water up to 180 degrees.
Pros: Extremely effective throughout the season. Can be easy blended into your water feature.
Cons: The Scarecrow doesn’t know the difference between a heron and a person so be prepared to dodge the spray!
Great Blue Heron Decoy:
Herons are very territory birds. When flying over head, if a heron sees another heron they will deter and go elsewhere. This life-like decoy, when placed next to your water feature, will do just that. We highly recommend to move them every couple of days. This will help prevent the heron from figuring out the decoy.
Pros: Effective when moved around. Adds a nice touch of nature to any water feature.
Cons: Cannot be placed outside during mating season (March-May) for obvious reasons. Once a heron has already established your water feature as its territory it becomes harder for the decoy to be effective.
Can you shoot a heron?:
Although they can be a pest, Great Blue Herons are protected under federal law. It is illegal to shoot them in the US.