The Solution to the Heron Problem?

john found that blue herons are quite territorial. Supposely, if you put a decoy blue heron in your garden, the real heron backs away. john found a decoy so real that he was able to pull a joke on joyce. When she came home, he called to her in a low voice that the heron was back. She came to the window and saw the "heron". john grabbed his camera and told joyce he was going out to see if he could get a picture. To joyce's surprise, john was able to get very close and take a picture without the "heron" flying away! john then came back in and had joyce come out and get close too. She was even more amazed! john then told her that he was going down the path to try to pet the heron. She replied that he had better not or he might get pecked seriously. john went anyway and to joyce's total amazement was able to pet the "heron". Finally, john tapped on the "heron" and joyce caught on.

john says that he wouldn't suggest you repeat this prank on your spouse. Payback time came the next morning! john jumped out of bed when joyce said the heron was back. john ran to the window, screaming all the way that he was going to get his money back! There was no real heron, just the decoy. joyce seemed really happy.

Since then, the real heron has landed next to the decoy on at least two occasions. john thinks this blue heron is very pond smart.

postscript(Oct. '99): john has moved the decoy to a more aggressive position: on the rock where the real heron normally lands. This has caused the heron to come once every ten days rather than twice a day.

pps(Nov. 99): the heron is coming only once a month now. It is once again a treat to see him.

pps(Dec. 19, 99 - about 20 degrees F.): we are still seeing the heron once a week. Today he treated himself to another pretty fish. When john tried to make him leave, the heron got a disgusted look on his face and flew over and landed on a nearby fence. john had to really wave his hands about to get the heron to leave the area. john wants the heron to survive the winter too.

pps(Mar. 1,00) - we haven't seen the blue heron in January and February, however we have no doubt that he will return soon.

Feb. 5, 2001 - we didn't see the blue heron last fall and, of course, not over the winter either. Right now john seems to think that the only solution to a blue heron problem is for the heron to find a better fishing hole somewhere else. Maybe he has done that. john says that the decoy has been alot of fun, but didn't keep anyone away from zenpond.

December 2005 - john has now learned of one way a fellow ponder has kept herons away. This person put a wire 18 inches high and electrified it with an electric fence supply from Tractor Supply. He said he had a heron, but after hearing a bird scream in the early morning, never had another problem with herons. john hasn't resorted to that just yet.