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beneficial predators - blue heron

 
steward
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I've thought of blue herons as majestic wildlife - a joy to behold, really - and a predator of fish ponds. I did not know they could be a beneficial predator as well. This video is amazing.

 
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Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I did not know they could be a beneficial predator as well.



Isn't every predator, a beneficial predator?

Thank You Kindly,
Topher
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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My choice of words was a bit myopic. I do agree it can be near-sighted to see predators that eat our fish (or other livestock) as a problem, and not realize how they are beneficial in other ways. I think most people see gophers as "pests," so this was enlightening (to me at least) that blue herons might help to keep them in check.

Of course, I think even gophers have their place in the landscape, providing beneficial aeration and fertilization, among other things. Others might have even better information on the benefits of gophers. I have heard how voles are amazing at spreading mycelium through their poop, and I figured it could follow that gophers offer something similar - fertilization at the least!
 
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Awesome. I need more gopher predators...
 
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Very very cool! Thanks for sharing!
 
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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This video has been making rounds on Facebook. I used to lie near a blue heron nesting sight and when the landlord mowed her 3 acres the blue herons would show up to eat the pocket gophers that where all over her property. She didn't use her land for anything. Just mowed it once or twice a year for fire safety.
 
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Wow. Learn something new every day.
I always thought of the Blue Herons as strictly aquatic eaters.

Bill Murray needed some of those in "Caddy Shack". LOL
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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John Polk wrote:Bill Murray needed some of those in "Caddy Shack". LOL


Hahaha! Oh! I can just hear him mumbling little enticing tidbits to a blue heron, and dangling a limp fish or something as a lure!
 
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Wow I had no idea.
 
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Living in austin i would find dead fish in my driveway. Very frustrating wondering who would be pranking us. Then one morning i went outside to see my truck covered in bird poop. Common sense told me to look up. It was a blue heron nest. I guess the fish fell out of the nest.  It was very fascinating once the mystery was solved.

Covered in poop was not an understatement. Them guys can poop.
 
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I had one (maybe more?)  of these show up repeatedly at my property in North Georgia last year.  Started eating the goldfish out of an ornamental pond in front of my house.
Being partial to my fish, I decided this leggy bird wasn't beneficial to their survival.  

I took a ladder and some other items and laid them across the pond to at least give some places for the fish to hide, if not scare big bird away.
It seemed to work, I still have plenty of fish left.
 
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