The Great Blue Heron

Look at that huge bird on the barn’s roof.

It’s a Great Blue Heron, and the Gems are terrified. Over the last week, at various times during the day, I’ve found the hens huddled inside the barn. When I do, I know why. This bird certainly looks big enough to eat a chicken, doesn’t it?

But, it’s not into things with feathers. It wants my fish. So far, the Beast, savvy koi that she is, has escaped that lethal bill. Some of the smaller goldfish have not.

Lily is doing what she can to keep the heron out of the yard. She’s fast. The heron is slow to take off. It had better watch out.

Good dog, Lily.


  1. WOW! I never realized how HUGE those Blue Heron birds are! Go Lilly!

  2. WOW!!!! that bird sure is a big bird. YOU GO LILLY GOOD GIRL!:)

  3. That would make a very large hood ornament. We had a blimp fly over our property one day and my chickens ran for cover. That heron looks pretty ominous to a small hen, I’m sure.

  4. Wow! That is one big heron! We have them here too, but that one is very large and healthy. It’s like a weathervane for the barn. Poor little gems….. Great action shot of Lily.

    So are you going to change the name of the ChickCam to GemCam now that they are growing up?

  5. Poor little Gems, and poor fish. I know you like that that birds will bathe in your fish pond, but seriously can’t you do a comprise ? And have a net or something other than Lily run off the herons. I know the Beast is savy, but one day her luck will run out. And then what will you do if she is gone ? And fish are expensive, why not at least put something up to discourage or scare off the herons. Lily can’t be their all the time.

  6. The poor Gems must be shaking in their little chicken feet.
    I have noticed with my hens that they can distinguish between a hawk and a turkey vulture. They hide when a hawk circles but a turkey vulture provides no fear. They haven’t encountered a blue heron, yet. My guess it would put the fear of the chickens god in them as well.

    Terry, the Missouri Dept. of Conservation told me that a blue heron decoy does a good job of discouraging trespassers. They told me they are very territorial and interlopers stay away when they spot another.

  7. we lost all but a few of our goldfish to the heron this year and our pond is about 24 inches from our family room windows. Daring thing!

  8. I have a friend who manages to keep a hungry heron away from his fish pong with a water spray that is attached to a hose and is activated by the predator’s flight in motion…your big blue heron looks like the figurehead of a Viking ship, perched on the “prow” of your barn! Yikes: a mythological beast!!

  9. Just checked in today and wondered why the Gems were all huddled in their barn. Now I know. About an eon ago when I was in high school (in a small town in W. Mass.) I walked by a large pond on my way to and from. The pond was quite shallow and inhabited by zillions of goldfish. (Fun to see them in the ice while skating!) Often in the fall there would be a Great Blue Heron having its breakfast or sometimes a Little Blue Heron or white egrets. There were probably Green Herons as well but they were well camouflaged. I always enjoyed my birdwatching. It’s a wonder I was never late for school.