Without doubt, a garden pond can beautify any garden, but it can also allow additional space for wildlife – wildlife that is sometimes unwanted. If the pond has small sloping sides it is very likely that some small birds will use it as a bath or for drinking. In addition, such ponds are attractive for newts, frogs, toads and in some cases – herons.
If you decide to place some decorative fish in the garden pond you will not be happy when you notice a heron visiting. These birds’ diet consists of fish even though they occasionally consume small mammals and amphibians. In rare cases they eat worms, other birds and reptiles too. Due to the fact that they are hunting fish at dusk and/or dawn, people usually don’t notice them and many people have woken up to discover that their fish collection has been decimated.
Small herons learn how to fish on their own and once they leave the nests in June or July, they are looking for small ponds in gardens because this fishing is not very challenging. The fact is that there are numerous ways in which homeowners can make their small ponds less acceptable to herons. However, you should be aware that most of these techniques will keep other wildlife away from the pond as well. If the herons are very persistent and they keep coming back, then you may be fighting a losing battle and it would make sense to remove the fish from the pond.
However, when you’re designing your garden pond there are certain things you can do that may potentially block the herons from reaching the fish. Small ponds with steep sides and lots of decorations and a suitable covering that consists of lily pads should be able to help you.
According to statistics there are more than 15.000 pairs of this type of bird in the United Kingdom. Herons are also protected under the general Wildlife and Countryside Act from 1981. If you’re having problems with herons and you’re not sure what to do for the best, pleased get in touch and we will do our best to advise you.