Saw my first BlueBird today and also 2 Robins
Spring is on its way to Indiana..
I don't think anything of them.. We see them all year here.. lol
We've had our robins back for a week now including a couple of tubby ones that I'm sure will be looking for a spot to nest.
We had our first visit by a pair of mallard ducks that have visited us every year for three straight years now on Wednesday. They first visited in 2006, when we started feeding them and they would hang around in our little fountain in front and sleep in the shade in back.
Last year I was working in our garage with the door open when they lit in our driveway and started quacking at me as though to say, "We're back, where's our food?" For months they would come every day and were comfortable enough that they would come through the garage out the back door into the back yard and stay there all day.
This year they landed in our front yard and walked around before laying in the mulch in our planting bed. I cleaned out the pond with them laying about 12 feet away and within minutes of filling it with fresh water they were in it, floating around, cleaning themselves and drinking.
They walked around the side and flew over our fence to the back yard and before I knew it, they were at the back door, quacking for food. Almost time to set up their wading pool in back, I guess. :-)
Welcome back, Spring. I know we'll have some more cool days before you're in full gear, but we're getting there.
How big a pond do you have that you were able to attract ducks? I wouldn't mind if some decided to stick around here.
Newyorkrita it's just a little thing, nothing more than a round preformed pond liner around three feet in diameter. That's what surprised me when they first starting hanging around. I just needed something small for a bamboo fountain. The first time I noticed they seemed to be attracted to it, I turned the pump off and they were in it floating around within 5 minutes. I've got some pictures of them in it somewhere. I bought it at Menard's for around $30, I believe. The downside to it is, the fountain is in front next to the garage and for as cute as they are, they can be DIRTY with a capital D that stands for duck doo-doo.
The last few years we've had a couple dozen of them that hang around our one mile square subdivision. There are other newer areas nearby with retention ponds but we still get our fair share around here. Last year there were a few times we had 7 or 8 males just laying in our back yard in the shade sleeping or walking around.
For our regular visitors I also set up a simple kid's wading pool off to one side by our privacy fence in the shade. There were times we would have one "couple" in front and one in back at the same time. Every so often one of the males would go after the other one's female and I would have to go out and play duck vice squad, running around after them to get the one to lay off.
So funny. My ponds are the preformed plastic ones. The one in back is 12 inches deep by 3 feet round and the side yard one is 14 inches deep and close to 3 feet round, can't remember exactly but that one has the built in shelves for putting pond plants. Can't put plants in either as the racoons use both for thier own private nightly swimming pools and make a big mess.
Yep, I get a kick out of them despite some of the less savory aspects of having them around. Last year I repaired the porch on our grandaughter's playhouse which had rotted through. It was particle board and came off in big messy chunks. I piled the scrap on top of her sandbox. My mistake. The cover for her sandbox was one of their favorite places to nap and the foot tall pile of nasty wood didn't deter them one bit. I looked out the back door and she was laying on top of the wood.
Ah yes, the raccoons. I'm quite familiar with them. We've had one or two families come through every spring for 3 or 4 years now.We have one of those Intex swimming pools for our grandaughter. I built a collapsible octagonal fence to go around it to keep them from getting at the sides, which are soft. Worked great at keeping the sides safe but it didn't stop them from getting on the cover. One night I heard *SPLASH* outside. I get the flashlight and look outside and there are two baby raccoons trying to get out of the pool. They had jumped on the cover, the cover went under, and while they were clawing to get out they shredded the pool cover.
Ours sounds just like the second one you mentioned. Ours just has the fountain in it but it doesn't bother the ducks as long as it's not on. Ours sits in a little "well" that I made out of small retaining wall blocks. Underneath also serves as a nest to chipmunks in the winter. They burrow beneath the wall and set up shop in the space between the wall and the liner.
The bluebirds in our nest box hatched Saturday and seem to be doing fine. Hopefully my improvements will keep the predators out this time.
We got a pair of bluebirds through here on Monday.
Alas, it WAS "through here" because--although they stayed for about an hour, obviously checking out the nesting possibilities (even tried squeezing into the wren house!) I saw, too late, that the winter winds had blown the door off the bluebird abode.
I rushed out to nail it back on but my pair had moved on...boo hoo!
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