Integrating Birding into Water Gardens

With ponds becoming increasingly common in home landscaping, wild birds have begun to flock to such areas. The moving water in a pond or waterfall attracts several different types of wildlife, and the yard quickly becomes an animal sanctuary. To create an avian retreat around your pond, simple steps and additions to the area can be made to form a bird garden. Creating shallow sections in the pond, adding feeders and houses, and offering protective landscaping all aid in inviting birds to rest in your yard.

The sound of moving water not only enhances your setting, it also draws wildlife to the source. Birds particularly enjoy moving water, offering them a chance to bathe or get a drink. Adding a creek or stream to your pond keeps water moving at all times, especially during a drought, for a ready water source for animals. Adding several rocks to the creek offers birds a place to rest, and keeping areas at only 1" deep allows them to bathe. Deeper water could be hazardous to birds, and they tend to bathe only in shallow areas. Adding graduated shelves up the sides of the pond will also create a more bird and animal friendly pond, as well as offer a flat surface for placing more aquatic plants.

Checking the landscaping around your water source will keep your birds safe. Be sure there are no low bushes or shrubs right next to the pond or creek, as this offers a convenient hiding spot for predators. Additionally, branches covering the pond may seem like excellent protection for the birds, but can easily hide a hawk or raptor. Keeping the landscaping open around the water itself will prevent a large amount of predation. Adding trees a small distance away from the water will shelter birds when they are finished in the pond, and placing a feeder in the tree may entice them to stay longer.

Placing houses and bird feeders in and around the waterscape will keep birds coming back to your yard regularly. You may first wish to determine the types of birds that will roost in your area with your current set up, and add nesting boxes for their convenience. Add feeders to the area, too, for a well rounded sanctuary. Tube and platform feeders are popular with many different types of birds, and suet feeders entice a select few. Adding a small one of each of these keeps seed fresh, and enables you to set up several feeding stations in different sections of the yard. For more advanced birders, adding mealworm, fruit, and thistle feeders will attract even more birds, for heightened variety.

Integrating birding into your water garden is an excellent way to help increase bird populations and introduce others to the joys of the natural world. Adding shallow areas to the pond for birds to bathe, ensuring the landscaping is appropriate, and placing feeders and nest boxes in the garden all help increase avian interest in the area. BestNest features a large selection of feeders, nest boxes, and pond supplies.