Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:05 pm
Welcoming water birds, whether wild or domestic, requires prior preparation of the pond. A few simple adjustments are necessary to facilitate cohabitation and maintain biodiversity.
When creating an ornamental or swimming pond in the garden, the first instinct is to create an “ideal” space for fish without necessarily worrying about birds.
This is a mistake, because it is obvious that even if domestic waterfowl are not allowed, the pond will attract wild birds.
Indeed, a watering place is often the place where many birds converge, such as geese, ducks, herons and other swans. They find there something to drink, but also something to bathe in and something to eat.
To prevent these birds from destabilizing the biotope, a few small adjustments are necessary. For example, by installing wire mesh over the shallow water of the banks, sheltered areas are created for the tadpoles. Without this precaution, the future frogs have no chance of escaping the voracity of passing birds.
If the pond is often exposed to waterfowl, it is also a good idea to cover the shoreline with pebbles or a plastic mat. This protection of the floor in shallow water will prevent silt from forming. When a duck comes along, it will not be tempted to dig for food, which will prevent the water from being contaminated by suspended silt.
If there are many wild birds, it is also more than recommended to choose large fish species to prevent them from becoming an appetizing meal for the birds. If the pond is to be used for domesticated ornamental birds, the same considerations apply. It is also advisable to add a screen around the pond to prevent the birds from escaping and to prevent predators, such as foxes, from doing their business.
The choice of ornamental bird varieties is immense. 160 species of ducks are domesticated among which we find the mandarin ducks, the shoveler ducks, the gadwall ducks, the whistling ducks, the pintails, the carolins. In addition to these species, there are other birds such as teals, geese, and domestic geese…
All these domestic birds require little maintenance. Depending on the case, a food supply will be necessary, especially if the pond is small. Deworming twice a year helps to keep the birds in good shape and to keep the water healthy.