It's all out war. This war consists of having had placed an online order for a very realistic, cool-looking Great Blue Heron and also having had bought shade fabric to put around the ground installed pond to keep the Heron from wading in.
Frankly, if it were legal, I would just take the thing out with my pellet rifle. It has a scope on it and it is very accurate. I could take that bird out with one shot from that thing. It isn't some play toy, it is a very powerful, air-driven rifle that looks like a real rifle. Wood stock and almost 3 feet long. The only way you can tell it's not a real rifle is the size of the barrel. It is obvious after a closer look at it that it's not a large enough diameter to have any bullets going through it.
But I will have to dismiss that thought as I am sure if I did shoot the thing down, neighbors would be calling the police and I would probably get arrested. Not worth it, especially considering there are other ways to deal with this thing. I don't really want to go around shooting birds, anyway, it just pisses me off that this thing has taken to roosting in the pine tree directly behind my house which partially comes over my property and then feels free to eat my fish.
I went out and looked this morning, there are a LARGE number of fish missing out of that pond. My only real luck is that the thing hasn't gotten any of my prized Koi, the ones I really like including the big butterfly Koi. I can accept the loss of those other fish, but I would be completely infuriated right now if one of those 4 were gone. So, in a few minutes, going to go out there and get this done. I should take long since I already have posts cemented into the ground around the pond as I installed a shade cover over it a few years ago to keep some of the intense sun off of it and heating up the water too much.
Phase 1 completed. The screening is now installed and should be enough in itself to stop any of them from entering. I am now going to reinforce it. I wish I had a camera to run over there! My Heron decoy/lawn decor will be here in about a week. Between the 2, hopefully the bird will be stopped/deterred from doing any more damage.
Further inquiry into the internet has Herons not liking big dogs - I have huge dogs but they won't like me making them stay over there. Fishing line. Apparently trips them up, but I have read that it has limited success. Scarecrow. A motion activated water sprayer that some swear by and others say don't work as the Heron will get used to it and won't care about water spraying on them (and also a bit on the expensive side).
I also read that they can just stand at the side of a pond, even an elevated one (the above ground pond is about 30 inches tall) and just wait for fish to come close enough for it to stab one. Okay. I have an answer for that but it's going to take a while. My Yerba Mansa has about half of the pond covered on the sides. There is no way a Heron can fish through that mass of plant sitting there. But the other half of the pond doesn't have any of it and so - at least start the thing towards growing over there so the bird cannot access it at all. Not to mention it looks nice having that plant growing like that.
Both ponds now fully protected - I hope. Stood out there until the sun went down and did not see it come back to the tree. I don't think birds wait until after dark to be coming "home", so not sure what's going on with it. What I do know is that the blooming thing knows where my ponds are and it will be back, especially after getting as many free - and easy pickings - meals as it has gotten.
You think I am obsessing about this. Yep, I am. Those fish are worth a lot of money. Koi are not cheap fish. I spent a lot of time going around to homes where they were shutting down the ponds and either giving the fish away or selling them cheap. All over the Phoenix metro area and even a trip to the town of Maricopa. Once I acquired enough fish, I stopped. I can buy more small Koi from Petsmart, but I still have plenty of fish in both ponds so prolly not going to do that unless I want to get another Butterfly Koi - they are selling them now and they are such beautiful Koi fish.
I am definitely going to replace the fancy goldfish - don't remember it's name - I can get a couple at Petsmart - small ones - for like 5 a piece. It will be years before they are as big as the one that was eaten and found on the ground the other day - which is what sent me into all of this frenzy of shoring up my ponds and keeping that thing out of there.