Are heron's predators?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tpeila, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. tpeila

    tpeila Out Of The Brooder

    68
    0
    39
    Jul 19, 2010
    University Place, WA
    We have a couple of Blue Herrons that like to visit our backyard and fish out of our pond. Would they be a threat to the chickens?
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    82,502
    10,241
    816
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I would think newly hatched chicks would interest them if they were hungry enough.
     
  3. Hoss1975

    Hoss1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    481
    0
    109
    Feb 14, 2011
    north central Indiana
    Yes they will eat chicks if given the opportunity.
     
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    2,758
    537
    261
    Apr 7, 2011
    Boonies of NY
    My Coop
    Herons are predatory and great blue herons will take any small prey that they can snatch and swallow. Fish, frogs, mice, rats, small birds, etc. If you have chicks or ducklings around I would consider them unsafe, but a heron is very unlikely to bother a full grown chicken.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,732
    2,359
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    A heron may not be able to consume an adult chicken but is able to drive hen away from chicks. Blue herons around here consume full adult bullfrogs and spear 5 pound bass. The birds that occasionally gut hung up in my netting around pounds are a nasty customer until the bill is in hand.
     
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,723
    11
    183
    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Quote:I was about to ask the same question. A smaller heron came to visit my pond and scared the poo out of my chickens and guineas. It was about the size of a hawk and black.
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    291
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Given a choice, a heron will prefer fish, but if hungry will likely eat just about anything that seems even the least bit like food. Those beaks are WICKED, and could easily stab a person to death, so be extremely careful if you need to approach one for any reason.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,732
    2,359
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    We routinely see blue herons in feilds near our ponds hunting rodents. Both blue and green herons will target large insects and reptiles such as snakes and small turtles near water. The more capable night herons I seldom see out. Night herons I think would pose a greater risk to chickens if they over lapped but they seem not to do so.
     
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    30
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Ducklings might fall prey to a blue heron and if chicks were around the ponds they might be taken but I doubt any chicken pullet-sized or above would be attacked. Keep in mind all herons are protected birds so you cannot harm them. BTW, green, night and lesser herons are too small to bother most birds so wouldn't pose a problem. Some people tend to confuse the herons in this country with storks, especially the marabou stork of Africa which are truly predators--nothing in this country like that.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,732
    2,359
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Lookup night herons. They have a larger gape size than the larger blue heron. Green herons will if opportunity presents itself consume fledgling redwing black birds and killdeer chicks running down my levees. Former the size of very young chickens.

    Marabou comparable to sandhill crane. Whooper to scarce to be worthy of comparison.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by