There Are Ducks in My Pond!

It Must Be a Nice Habitat!

Mama Duck brought her ducklings to Cool Ponds for a
swim a few years ago!

About this time every year, we begin receiving calls about Mallard ducks. As they begin to show up in backyard ponds, many people are worried if they will harm their fish or pond.

Well, we're not duck experts, but we are pond experts and can relate our experience to you. If you do research on the internet you will find articles that say many things about ducks both true and false. After-all, anyone with a computer can portray themselves as an "expert" on any subject in a matter of minutes. So I prefer to get my "duck information" from a known expert. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a mallard's diet consists of "insects and larvae, aquatic invertebrates, seeds, aquatic vegetation, and grain." So, they're not at all after your fish.

We can't wait to see the mallards arrive each spring. There is a pair that visits us here at the shop and a pair that visits us at home. They are so fun to watch and do an excellent job at eating string algae. We have had many, many baby koi anywhere from 1 1/2" to 3" long that swim all around the ducks when they're in the pond. I have never seen the ducks pay any attention to them, nip at them or consider eating them.

Another concern people have voiced with mallards is that they may carry parasites. I don't know for sure, but there's a good chance they do. Actually, every bird, cat, squirrel or other animal that visits your pond probably has some sort of parasite. That's just mother nature. Just because a duck has a parasite doesn't mean it can or will infect your fish. And by the way, most fish have parasites too. Even strong healthy fish likely have internal parasites.  It doesn't mean they're sick or will be sick; it's just the nature of things.

Now I will confess that the ducks may stir things up a bit. At my house they spend a lot of time eating algae in our creek so they stir up the junk in it and it ends up in our pond. But that's okay with us. They're worth it.

If you are lucky enough to have mallards, you've done a great job. You have re-created mother nature, invited her in, and she accepted. Enjoy it!

Written by Cool Ponds staff member Staci


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