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Building pond: Want to know how to attract wild ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MinxFox, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. MinxFox

    MinxFox Crowing

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Hi, we got some nice land not too far from our house and my dad and his buddy are making a large pond tucked back in the woods of the place. When it is done we are going to stock it with fish but we also would like to attract wild ducks to the pond. My dad said that we are located in the flyway so the wild ducks will be around but we need to get them to visit the pond. Last year when we went deer hunting on my dad's friend's place we heard quacking when we were out in the woods. We followed the noise and came to a pond filled with all kinds of beautiful wild ducks swimming around and flying. We had such a good time watching and videoing them that we would like to have ducks at our soon to be pond to watch.

    Basically I was assigned by my dad to help him find out about any kinds of plants we could plant in or around the pond to attract ducks. My dad said maybe things like wild rice would work, etc. What kind of plants do wild ducks like to nest in? What is something that would be important for us to provide for them? We can't wait to have a finished pond with wild ducks visiting it. I really can't wait to see the wood ducks. It would be cool if they used our pond as a nesting area.

  2. jemjdragon

    jemjdragon In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2011
    Decoy ducks could work and once you attact some, you can remove the decoys. I am unsure what kind of plants you can use to attract them except that they like to eat duck weed.
  3. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    I agree with decoys...I saw a video on America's funniest home videos of a swiming pool...the family kept decoys in it...year after year, they got more wild ducks in their pool....their pool and yard was COVERED in ducks!
  4. lovesgliders

    lovesgliders Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    Quote:LOL! I don't know if that was their ultimate goal but it sounds like heaven to me. [​IMG] I love duckies so much!
  5. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Beleive it or not Call Ducks were bred just for this purpose. an old name for the breed was decoy ducks. Shooting over live decoys is now illegal. The name Call was because their Voice volume is very loud for their size. Wooden decoys might look like ducks but Calls ARE ducks and they can call better than humans! A few words of advise don't pay the big bucks for Show quality Calls. The ones that are too big to win are much more likely to live, survive and reproduce. Show birds are so small that they have trouble laying eggs, the eggs they can lay are often too small to contain a unhatched duckling and the short bills and necks make it hard for the unhatched duckling to pip. Best of all many Show breeders will give these bad calls away. It would be prudent to clip their wings so they don't fly off with the migrating ducks Love can work wonders.
    To attract wood ducks put up nesting boxes but don't be disappointed if you don't see them, They can be very Shy. I have 3 pairs of wild ones that I have never seen with the naked eye, only through field glasses from the cover of my house.
    Rather than trying to name plants. I would suggest you try collecting starts from that wild pond. Duck weed is loved. I would avoid cat tails ducks don't really eat them, they use them for cover but they have the tendency to take over a pond quicky. When stocking with fish remember that many larger fish will eat ducklings. Gators (if you have them] and snapping turtles will eat adult ducks. Ducks love bugs and will usually eat grain when it first sprouts and again when it bears grains.
  6. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

    Mar 20, 2008
    Excellant advice Goosedragon. The only wild ducks that nest around us are wood ducks. All the others go north to lay except for the occasional Black or mottled ducks which are rare here.( they look like mallards.) Like goosedragon said Put up 3-4 wood duck boxes I suggest on metal poles to keep out predators. Wild rice is good.Cattails are great cover and they usually grow around the pond not in it so much. Just grab some starter plants from your other pond .Another good suggestion by goose. [​IMG] But even though they love duckweed In a small pond it will take over and the fishing will suck (its real bad about taking over in our area.) Id just stay away from this plant entirely. Also it takes ducks to make ducks appear faster. Any LIVE ducks you put there clip their wings and if no hunting is going on sprinkle some corn around or other duck food around. Also If you need some ducks some real cheap just PM me. If you get over this way I have about 8 left that would work fine for this that I want gone by this spring! Hope all is well with you and your birds. Shawn
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    The water will attract them. If you want them to stay around, they will want food and shelter.

    I don't know Florida well, so I suggest that you look up what sort of wild ducks to expect, what sort of plants they eat, what sort of shelter they use, and how they nest. Provide all the elements and don't harass them and they will soon move in.

    I've done it with quail. Provide shelter for them, a source of water, and plant the types of plants that provide feed. Now I've got 3 large flocks living on my property for me to watch.

    Where the weather is warm, you are going to have to do something to control algae growth.

  8. MinxFox

    MinxFox Crowing

    Sep 16, 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    Thanks everyone! We don't really want to end up getting ducks to attract wild ducks. We just want the wild ones to come in instead of getting domestic ducks and having to deal with them too.

    When the pond is done we will throw out some corn for ducks and maybe make a trip to our friend's pond to get some of the plants that the ducks we saw there were hiding in.
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    ditto Oregon Blues - finding plants that reseed themselves well, and perennials, that are native to your area should really help with attracting the ducks you'd like to watch.

    Smartweed is one that grows around here that wild and domestic ducks like. You might want to stick with native plants - some of the exotics get carried away, and aren't generally attractive to the ducks.

    Shallow ponds, on their way to becoming swamps, may grow lots of cattail. If you want to think about cattail for cover (cover is a nice perk for wild ducks) around edges, I've been told that once the water's 3 feet deep or more, the cattails won't grow.
  10. Linn Bee

    Linn Bee Songster

    I really believe that the "if you build it, they will come" philosophy works for ducks. Around here there have been several shallow 'duck ponds' built with $$ assistance from the Feds. in otherwise low, unproductive areas. The ducks find them with no problem. Around here you might expect as many or more geese with those ducks.

    Once dug out, the birds bring the fish as well. We have minnows and two kinds of leeches in our small pond that was stocked with goldfish to keep the mosquito population down. Of course stocking with fish insures you have a private fishing hole.

    NOTE: If dug with federal assistance the pond MUST be open to public fishing. At least around here.

    Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) Nesting with 5 Australorp and 5 Lt. Brahma hens plus 'The Count of Monte Cristo' - or Monte for short - one beautiful Australorp rooster, in south-est, central-est Wisconsin

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