Prevent Heron Attacks On Koi
One of the koi’s main enemies is the Heron because Herons love to feast on Koi. Since almost all Koi ponds are outdoors, you need to pay particular action to protecting your Koi from Herons.
Herons are quite large birds, about 2 or 3 feet tall, but with an extremely large wingspan. If you notice that some of your fish are missing, chances are a Heron is to blame. On the other hand, you may notice large gaping holes and injuries in the sides of your Koi. This is the result of a Heron trying to catch one of your Koi, but does not get a good grip on it. Otherwise, you may find your Koi lying on the ground several feet away from the pond, which is the result of a Heron dropping the Koi after catching it from the pond.
There are a few types of equipment to deter Herons but they usually only work for a while. For example, some pond owners put a fake plastic Heron into their garden to detour another Heron from landing there. This only works until mating season comes. There are other types of equipment that ward off the Herons by causing them discomfort. This only works until the Heron gets use to it, or just finds a way around it.
The best way to protect your Koi is by watching out for them. A few simple things will not prevent Heron from visiting your pond, but it will greatly reduce the presence of them.
1) Constantly change your routine. Herons are smart and know when you will typically be present. Visiting your pond frequently at various times during the day will greatly increase the chance that you will catch the Heron in action. If you are unable to vary your routine, you may consider enlisting others to visit your pond as well. Older, trustworthy children in the neighborhood may delight in visiting your pond at various times of the day. Giving them permission to visit whenever they want will allow others to visit when you are unable too.
2) If you catch a Heron in the act, make as much noise to frighten the Heron as much as you physically can. The more frightened the Heron becomes, the less chance he is to return anytime soon.
3) Create a hiding place in your pond for your Koi. Your Koi will sense the danger of a Heron nearby and quickly swim into their place of refuge. A hiding place can be in the form of a cleft in the shape of your pond, plants like water lilies etc. Do not worry about your Koi hiding from you, as they should know and trust that you will not hurt (or eat) them.
4) Make sure your pond is at least 3 feet deep. The depth of water also acts like a natural hiding place for your Koi to keep out of the Heron’s reach.
5) You may want to construct overhead shelters to prevent the Herons from being able to see your Koi from the sky. However some Koi owners may think that this reduces the beauty of the koi pond.
6) Do not restock your pond right away in the event of a Heron attack. Waiting to restock may send the Heron searching for new feeding grounds.
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