Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Build a pond for the birds...

Matty and I built a little pond with a waterfall last year, but it didn't get a lot of bird action, so I dismantled it this spring and changed it, adding a small 10-gallon retention pool between a tub waterfall and a 50-gallon tub pond. I stacked the retention pool with with rocks, which made it feel like a rocky stream, and the birds already love it. All it took was mimicking nature and thinking like a bird...

A juvenile American Robin studies the water in the rocky "stream bed."

The rocks allow for several depths, from above the water to three or four inches below the water. The water flows from the big waterfall tub on the left, to a small waterfall that flows into the pond on the right. 

We didn't have a lot of room for the pond, so we opted for a 50-gallon tub instead of a liner. In a couple of years I'm going to put a larger pond in the yard where I have more room. We will use a liner and create a small beach for it, which the birds will love, but until then, the 10-gallon bird friendly "stream bed" works great!

It doesn't take a lot of room to add a pond with a waterfall and a little stream. The birds love it, and it sounds great too. (The tall plants are volunteer milkweed plants. The first popped up three or four years ago, and each year a few more join the stand.)

A juvenile robin still holds on to some of its baby down. Soon those little fuzzies will be gone.

He only studied the water for a short while before drinking from the stream.

...refreshing!

14 comments:

Janice K said...

That is such a neat idea. A few years ago some friends gave me a glass birdbath. It looked pretty, but I never saw a bird use it for anything. I do have a small blue swinging thing that holds water near my feeders, and the chickadees especially love to drink from it, but I have never seen a bird take a bath in it either.

Something like you built would certainly be neat. Thanks for sharing your idea.

Kim at NatureismyTherapy.com said...

It's perfect! And such great photos of the juvie robin too...wonderful!

Mary Ann Gieszelmann said...

How did you get so close to the robin, Kelly?

Kelly said...

@Janice - Thanks, Janice.

@Kim - Thanks...that's another good thing about ponds...close-up viewing of birds!

@Mary Ann - Hi Mary Ann! We were outside when we saw the bird hop onto the rocks and then hop down into the stream bed area. I ran inside and grabbed my long lens (200mm lens with a 2x extension). I stood on the deck (which is above the pond) and zoomed in on the bird. Then I cropped the photos down for the close-ups.

grammie g said...

Hi Kelly... This is encouraging me to fix and redo the one I have then went defunct last summer.
Such a nice idea the way you did it, as the small pond I had with the fountain only attracted frogs and then the raccoon to get the frogs, which poked a hole in the liner. That sounded like a little sing song rhyme lol!! :}

Nice job you two :}!!
And I bet the birds think so to. The Robin shot's are so cute.

Grace

Gillian Olson said...

Wonderful water feature and great pictures of the Robin.

TexWisGirl said...

so very nice! for birds and humans, too!

Midmarsh John said...

Nothing like a small area fo water to attract some birds.
Brilliant photos of the juvenile Robin.

Kelly said...

@Grammie - hahaha...yes...I can see that as a sing-song rhyme. Good luck fixing your pond. Adding in the connector pool really works!

@Gillian - thank you! He was a very sweet fellow. The down still clinging to him was so cute! thanks!

@Tex - :-) thank you! Love the soothing sound. It's a great place to read!

@John - Thank you, John! You are so right.

Sarah said...

Love it - happy birds!

E said...

Beautiful, Kelly, well done.
The pics are great, you look wonderful.
Abrazos

Kelly said...

@Sarah - Thank you! :-)

@E - Thank you, Ena! :-)

Tammie Lee said...

how lovely that the birds are using it!

Joan keeley said...

Your pond is looking nice. You can keep fish in it and make it attractive for birds by growing some plants. Birds attract by greenery. When they will come to get some food surely they will enjoy your pond. To make pond waterproof apply good quality pond liner like Pond Pro 2000.