This past Monday was our dad's birthday. Before I could call or text him "Happy birthday", I got an alarming text from him. ( I would take screen shots of my phone, but I don't know how)
Dad: Someone stole all my fish in the pond. Seriously, All of them.
Dad Yes, no fish in pond.
Me: Could there have been a bear or other wild animal in the yard?
Dad: No, they took them all
So here is a little background on this pond. My dad has built a decorative pond with a waterfall in their backyard. He's had koi and gold fish in this pond for about 20 years. Just this summer he had a professional landscaper come in and redesign this pond. He kept all the same fish though. One fish we knew for sure was 18 years old. It was a big one. My dad cleaned this pond and fed these fish every day for 20 years. You could say that he is quite attached to the fish pond. So this of course was devastating! Certainly not a way to start a birthday.
|This is Belle sneaking a drink out of the pond before it was re-designed|
So by the time Scott and I arrived at my parent's house, my dad had already gone to work. We walked outback and looked in the pond and just like he said, there were no fish! We thought someone was playing a cruel joke on my dad for his birthday. But why would someone do this? Where they stolen? What happened to them?
Of course we couldn't let my dad come home to an empty pond, so Scott and I bought him a few new Koi and some gold fish. It doesn't come close to the 60 plus fish he had but it's a start. Did you know that some Koi are $249????
There was a LOT of investigation that went on that day, and to make a long story short, we have determined that the culprit was a blue heron. Blue heron are really tall birds. In the 30 some years my parents have lived in that house, they have never seen a blue heron in their yard.
The next morning, my mom just happened to look out the window, and there he was, the fish bandit.
My parents made noise and hollered at the blue heron and it flew away. After my dad left for work, it came back again! So yesterday my mom researched how to get rid of blue herons, and we spent all afternoon boobie trapping the yard and pond area. We certainly did not want these new fish to end up missing too! We put nets up over the pond, and apparently these birds don't like shiny things. So of course we put some silver garland around the pond too.
We later found out that this bird has visited a another family in our neighborhood and ate 14 of their fish and most recently visited a family down the street from my parents and ate their fish too. I guess this blue heron is making his way through the neighborhood snatching fish along the way. Not only do we fear the fish being ate, but these birds can do damage. They have very pointed beaks and can very easily poke holes in the liner of the pond. Hopefully what my parents are doing will deter him and he will move on. But until then, my parents will be keeping a watch out for this blue heron!
Have you ever had a wild animal damage anything at your home? Has it bothered your animals or ate your crops?