I am having mixed feelings about the magnificent Great Blue Heron that has been visiting our goldfish pond

November 29, 2009:

Look at this magnificent Great Blue Heron. He is standing just behind the waterfall of the goldfish pond that my hubby built for me:

Edited to add this picture taken after the next one: (photo taken the next day, November 30)

Great Blue heron who ate my goldfish

My hubby, the best hubby in the history of the world, laid on his tummy and took this picture through our doggie door. (Photo taken November 29, 2009)

Great Blue Heron next to our waterfall

This is the most excitement I’ve had in the back yard for a couple of years. Here are two blog entries about similar events:

I am a birdwatcher, and as such I am VERY EXCITED that a magnificent Great Blue Heron has been coming to our pond the last several days. We live in an expansive, yet quiet, housing tract, near a very busy intersection. This is not the usual habitat for Great Blue Herons….

There are many bodies of water in Oklahoma City, yet this heron has chosen our goldfish pond to hang around by lately. It is quite a complement to my hubby’s craftsmanship.

Here is the original, un-cropped, photo, showing more of the waterfall and pond:

Great Blue Heron near pond and waterfall

Besides being a birdwatcher, though, I am a Pet Mom, and as such I am VERY WORRIED about my pet goldfish.

I don’t know if he has eaten any of my pet goldfish yet. Most of them all look alike, and if there was one missing, I would never know. We have more than fifty goldfish, most of them orange, with some white ones and some black ones. The great majority of our goldfish are the descendants of Rick and Ilsa, our two biggest, and oldest, goldfish.

There are very few goldfish with distinguishing marks allowing us to recognize them. (Rocky Raccoon has white patches around his eyes, for instance.)

Great Blue Herons are long legged wading birds. They wade into a body of water until they can look down and see the fish, they they bend their long neck down and grab a fish in their big beak.

With all the times I’ve seen this heron in our backyard, he has never been standing in the water, just next to the pond. In our pond, the first step is a doozy, as the saying goes…

We have a step, about a foot or so down, all the way around, to make it easier to step into the pond for maintenance. The pond is almost three feet deep.

As much as I love seeing this Great Blue Heron, I want him to go to one of the lakes or rivers in town.

I love you, but please go away…..


Edited to add:

November 29: It’s very cold today, so the fish are not moving. I went out and counted them, and only see 27 of them. (they are hard to count when they are all swimming) We had almost 50 the last time we caught them all in order to give the pond a thorough cleaning a few years ago. More have been “born” since then, so we knew we have (had) over fifty by now.

I have to accept the fact that some of our fish have been eaten. Some are trying to hide under leaves that blew into the pond and fell to the bottom. I hope there are more fish that are hiding so well that I can’t see them. I can’t even see Rick and Ilsa. They are our biggest fish. Rick is white, so he would be easy to see. I hope Rick and Ilsa are hiding under the leaves.

I’m on the web researching ways to keep Great Blue Herons away from ponds. Apparently it is a big problem for many pond owners. Herons even take big koi which are hundreds of dollars each. Koi have short tails. We like goldfish with long flowing tails, and they are a lot less expensive.

There are many, many very expensive ways to keep away Great Blue Herons, and none of them work, according to pond community message boards I’ve been searching.

We’ve decided that rather than standing at the window in awe that we are going to teach our doggies to chase the herons away. Maybe that will work.

Wish us luck…


Edited to add December 1:

A big Thank You goes out to everybody for all of the suggestions. I appreciate hearing from fellow animal lovers who understand my feelings.

After further researching the topic on the web, discussing at all the available products and options with my hubby, and visiting our local pond store last night, we decided on Pond Netting. The price is more reasonable than plastic herons and motion detector sprinklers (which won’t work here anyway because the water freezes).

Now, we have a physical barrier between my fish and the herons. Unless the herons figure out how to lift the rocks holding it down, and roll it up, my fish will be alright. It’s not pretty, but having my fish survive is more important. Whew. That was fun, {she said facetiously}.






Filed under Life in Our Backyard

4 responses to “I am having mixed feelings about the magnificent Great Blue Heron that has been visiting our goldfish pond

  1. Pingback: That Great Blue Heron is never going to eat my goldfish again! | Life in Our Backyard

  2. Pingback: Bird watching in my backyard – Rats. I came very close to getting a nice picture of a goldfinch | X-Evolutionist.com

  3. Pingback: That Great Blue Heron is never going to eat my goldfish again! | X-Evolutionist.com

  4. Pingback: That great blue heron is never going to eat my fish again! | X-Evolutionist's Space

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