A pair of mallard ducks visited our pond for the first time in
the spring of 2003.
We named our visiting ducks Fred and Ethel. We're not sure that
those are their real names, they just seem to fit somehow.
At first, we were afraid that they would eat the fish or somehow
cause damage to the pond. We've found out that they don't bother
the fish at all and are actually good for eating some of the dying
algae as it floats to the top of the water. By the time we put water
plants in the water and the water lillies started growing, the ducks
were gone, so we never found out if they would destroy or damage
Ethel made a beautiful nest in 2003 in the yard of a neighbor two
houses from ours. Thirteen beautiful eggs! Unfortunately, she made
her nest right by the neighbor's front door, which the human residents
were totally not happy about. The neighbors destroyed the nest and
We're hoping that Ethel selects a more appropriate location this
year. We'd be happy to have her nest in our garden.
We don't know if this is the same pair of ducks that we had last
year. We think that they might be because they're so unafraid of
us. They will fly over our heads if we're by the pond and make splash
landings right in front of us. If there are too many people around
the pond and they feel insecure about landing, they will sit on
the roof of the house and honk loudly to let us know that we should
clear out and move away.
We've never fed the ducks while they were visiting. We're happy
to just watch them swimming, napping, preening their feathers and
having a good time.
The only drawback we've found in having our duck visitors is that
they do tend to crap all over the place. But that's easily taken
care of with a hose washing.
We hope that they continue to visit - just as long as they don't
bring all their friends!