Graceful and Majestic
The British Grey Heron (Ardea Cinerea) is a wonder to observe. Standing motionless alongside a stream or river, with his head hunched into his shoulders, the heron shows great patience waiting for his dinner to swim by. Once he has eaten, the Grey Heron extends his wings –each up to a metre in length – and flies with slow and stately wing beats back to his heronry.
According to the British Trust for Ornithology, there were 12,959 heronries recorded in the 2008 heron census (herons have to do censuses too!) and, with each heronry providing accommodation for two adults and up to five chicks, the British Grey Heron is thriving. Good news for the herons – bad news if you have a fish pond in your garden!
Please see our best heron deterrents page for products to keep herons away from your fishpond.
Lock Up Your Pets!
The Grey Heron is a solitary feeder, preferring to find his own “patch”. Should he spot a new territory which is unoccupied, he will fly down to investigate and, should he discover your recently stocked fishpond, stop for a bite to eat. The Grey Heron can live for up to twenty years and has an exceptionally good memory – so no matter how frequently you restock your fishpond, he will just come back for more.
It is not just the fish in your fishpond that will attract the Grey Heron. The Grey Heron´s diet can consist of frogs, small mammals and even young birds. Grey Herons have been witnessed swooping from the skies, like a modern-day pterodactyl, to catch a mouse or guinea pig and, in 2008, a Dutch photographer caught (on film) a heron catching, killing and eating a rabbit.
Not got a river or stream near you, but still get herons? It is not surprising. The Grey Heron is a common bird throughout most of the U.K. (although it has a preference for Cheshire and Greater Manchester) and will fly up to fifty miles to feed. Although the general cleanliness of river and canals has improved in recent years (encouraging more fish to breed), so has the number of home improvement programs on the TV showing you how to build a fishpond in your garden!
If you are about to build a fishpond (or have one already), you are going to need a heron deterrent. These pages will provide information about many of the best heron deterrents that are on the market, discuss the pros and cons of each and try to provide an answer to the question “Which is the best heron deterrent?” based on conservation, practicability and economy