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WaterFowl and Ponds

     WaterFowl & Ponds
  PondStuff! Monthly Pond & Water Gardening Newsletter

WATERFOWL AND PONDS

When the pair of mallard ducks (at least I think they were mallards, but they might have been the ever increasing Brandt geese) landed in the pond, I thought it was a lovely addition to my natural woodland glen retreat. 

But it soon took on nightmarish proportions.  These wild fowl are protected by the government, so you canít do anything to harm them, no matter what they are doing to your peaceful retreat... Then they started their mating rituals...

They swam and played in the waterside plants, ate my smaller fish, infected the larger ones with the plague, bombarded my filter system with feathers and plant debris, and the place even started to smell like a duck farm! 

They built a nest over my waterfall, in a little cove where they felt safe I guess, and hatched out six little chicks.  I thought they would never leave!  I called wildlife control and they told me there was nothing I could do and that I had BETTER NOT DISTURB THEM.  Oh, Goodness!  Why me, why me??? 

My friends were coming by with their kids to show them the cute little baby ducks.  People were coming all times of the day and werenít bothering to call first. 

After all, we had to be hospitable.  It was becoming a real problem!  My daughter was out taking pictures of the ducks and the next door neighbor was throwing moldy bread in the pond to feed them.  I thought about putting the house on the market and relocating, somewhere with no pond and no neighbors.  Maybe the desert!

But then, about six weeks later, the little beasties finally fledged and all left with their parents.  I quickly drained and pressure washed the entire pond (all the fish were dead), scoured the system, the filter, added microbes to speed the process when it was refilled, and hoped to have koi again next year.  I learned a valuable lesson in this.  I learned that I do not want to see ducks, or geese, or any wild fowl in my pond. 

I will do anything it takes to discourage them from settling in my neighborhood.  I will also get it straight with my neighbor that she is not to throw moldy bread in my yard no matter how sorry she feels for the birds.  She can feed the moldy bread to the sea gulls or the poor birds in her own yard. 

...And I will buy all the scarecrows, noisemakers, water-shooting deterrents on the market.  I will get a big watchdog.  I will run out with my own arms flapping, screaming, at the first sign of a duck nearing my beautiful pond!  I am determined this will not happen to me again!  No, by golly, this is my pond.  It will not happen again.  I will not allow a duck to drive me out of my home ;-)


 

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