Darn birds!

  1. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    My sister came home from work Thursday night, and saw a bird sitting on the edge of her pond. Going fishing. She gets out there just in time to see it catch one of her Mosquito Fish. So, she looks...and looks...and looks... No more Mosquito Fish, and she had at least 30 of them! So, she rigs up some netting over her pond and sits on the patio and watches - the bird is hanging out in the tree at the neighbors. So, she pulls out her camera and sits on her patio and watches. The bird flies down to her fence, so she snaps a picture (kind of hard to see since it was getting dark). And she still watches (she wanted to make sure the bird couldn't get any more fish). So, the bird eventually comes all the way to her pond and sits on the waterfall she is building. And tries to streeeeetch it's neck to get to the fish. It can't reach. It can't get to the water because of the netting. She e-mails me the pictures so I can identify the bird for her. A Green Heron. Pretty bird, but it needs to find a meal elsewhere!

    Bird on Fence  b.jpg

    Bird on Garden  b.jpg

    Bird stretching off waterfall  b.jpg

    This morning, she goes out to check again - in case there was a fish or two hiding. No mosquito fish. She calls and says she is on her way over to "borrow" some of mine. No problem. I know I have some, because I see them in the pond. Haven't had any babies lately, but my pond is smaller than hers and doesn't have as many good hiding spots, so I figured the babies were getting eaten by the other fish. So, I go out and catch all of my Mosquito Fish. They are all females. Not a male in the bunch. No wonder I don't have any babies! Darn grackles and thrashers and cats!!!!!!
    So, I call a couple of fish stores to see if they have any Mosquito Fish.
    The first store says "we don't carry them". Okay.
    The second store says "They are illegal." I don't think so! So, I say "when did they make them illegal? They are a native fish!" So, she says hang on and I can hear her asking another employee. Then she says "We don't carry them any more because we couldn't sell them because the city was giving them away." Okay. That sounds feasible.
    So, I look up the city website - office hours are 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday. Well, that won't work. My sister is at work those hours. I can't even call to find out if they have any available until Monday!
    So, I see a website for a third store. They have mosquito fish listed on their pond fish section - but they don't open til 11 am. It is only 10:30. So, my sister goes to finish her shopping and I get to wait and call when they open. The line's busy . . . and again . . . and --- oh, it's ringing! Yes! they have 10 - 15 mosquito fish left! So, I call my sister and tell her they have them. She says she will finish her grocery shopping and be right over - make room in the fridge for her to store her groceries while we go get fish!
    So, we're headed to get some more fish - hopefully these ones won't end up as a meal for the birds!
     
  2. Dino Fishlore VIP Member

    Nasty little buggers are here too.
    Which is why all my outdoor water has a heavy planting of lilies to keep them from seeing the fish.
     

  3. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    Wish I could throw some of those fish in my swamp out back. Dang bugs are everywhere!
     
  4. Cyan Orchid Initiate Member

    Lucky that all you lost were mosquito fish.. the blue herons that live around me grabbed one of our imported koi.. an 8 inch. We set up netting over the pond after that and haven't lost a fish yet. Our pond has more mosquito fish than we know what to do with. We started with 5.. next day had 20.. then 50.. then 75.. then we lost count XD
     

  5. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    Unfortunately, this happens. She should be happy to see a night cap heron though, they are nice birds in the end(and not terribly common, they may be protected). Id stock the pond with something a little more enticing to the heron, that way itll leave the mosquito alone. Feeder fish normally work since their colors get the herons attention.

    They also dont like to hunt much in the day though, if she gets a motion sensor flasher, i almost garuntee the birds will leave the pond be.
     
  6. gremlin Well Known Member Member

    Well, the heron has not been back. My sister left the netting on the pond for a couple days to make sure the fish were safe. The ones she bought are already trying to repopulate the pond. Also, some of her original mosquito fish must have survived. There are more adult fish in her pond than she bought. She figures they must have hid down in the moss and plants and it just took a while for them to feel safe enough to come back out of hiding.
     
  7. soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    good to hear.
     

  8. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Hello Gremlin! :)

    Sorry to hear about your sisters fish. :( I lost my goldfish from my pond due to birds too. I didn't even start it up this season. Maybe next year.

    Ken