It won’t be long before migrating waterfowl arrive to make rest stops or winter homes on your pond. Have you ever built a shoreline blind from old tree limbs and natural cover to get up close and observe their antics? My gear list includes a chair, binoculars, camera, and camouflage facemask. Duck hunters will tell you, these wily birds can spot a flash from your face at surprising distances. No cell phone or iPads allowed. It’s time to take a spectacular front-row seat for the show.
Imagine Fall leaves floating down on you. It’s a gray, overcast day waterfowl like. Your ears almost ring it’s so quiet. Did you hear that woodpecker? Listen to those crows! They must have spotted an owl napping in a nearby tree. Don’t move! A flock of mallards is circling overhead and calling to others already here. Their flight is like a ballet as the flock turns in unison and cups wings to land. Here’s my favorite part! See how they back-peddle, extend their feet, and hover to splash down. On landing, existing birds continue excitedly calling and chattering to welcome new arrivals. After pruning ruffled flight feathers, they cruise shallows eating smartweed and other preferred vegetation.
If waterfowl roost (spend the night) on your pond, plan these outings around 4 p.m. At sundown, the sky will resemble DFW Airport at rush hour. Sometimes you hear the wind whistling beneath their wings. You can attract ducks by spreading corn around the water line. Please DO NOT hunt over such bait. It’s a SERIOUS violation of federal migratory waterfowl regulations.
Attracting waterfowl should be done in moderation. Large numbers of ducks and geese contribute substantial waste along the shoreline and in the pond. Over time, it builds significant organic matter. If not closely managed, especially in small lakes, it may cause water quality issues. Waterfowl often transplant vegetation. We don’t want to spoil the party, just monitor activity, especially with geese.
If you enjoy conservation projects, follow the lead of an East Texas client. He erected numerous wood duck boxes and equipped them with remote cameras. His family watches the entire nesting event on a monitor in their home. We can help acquire and install the boxes. If too many geese are roosting, ask us about a device from POND BOSS advertiser Away With Geese. Their guaranteed deterrent products feature a solar-powered light that is scarcely noticeable to humans, but very disruptive to geese attempting to sleep on your pond. The solar-powered lights charge each day. From dusk to dawn, every two seconds, they emit a 360-degree flash at eye-level to geese. They require no maintenance. Durable ABS plastic bases withstand any weather conditions. Each unit will discourage geese in a 75-yard radius. After a few restless nights, they seek other habitats.