How nature responds-pond life

  1. I have a fairly large ornamental pond in my garden. I live in the city and this pond has become quite useful to all the wildlife in the area. My favorite visitors are the black birds (grackles) that come every April. They nest in the neighbor's pine trees and leave at the end of June.

    Until then I am the host for them and their baby birds. They seem to recognize me every spring and do not fly away when I garden. I get a kick out of the baby birds as they wait by the pond for their parents to bring them food. I think the pond attracts these birds, both because of the water source, and as a kind of signal post that is easily visible by air.

    My neighbors hate these birds because they are not pretty, eat the bird seed at their feeders and can be messy. I have explained to them that they will be leaving in a few short weeks.

    Well today the pesky Heron was back to eat my beloved fish. I haven't seen him since March when he ate two of my favorite fish. He was perched on my neighbors garage, feasting his eyes on my fish. Then the grackles ATTACK. They fly directly at him and then avoid contact by mere centimeters. They do this in waves with one grackle perched on the roof giving orders. He squacks the command, they attack and regroup. Finally the Heron has had enough and leaves.

    It was a beautiful thing to see how my guests have protected "our pond".
  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   colleen10
    Hi Rapheal,

    That's a nice story. I am big on gardening and providing for birds throughout the seasons with bird seed and lots of houses stationed througout my yard. I don't have any baby birds yet but I hope soon enough to hear their cheeps.

    Last year my husband and I were in the backyard working when all of a sudden I felt a thud against my pant leg. I looked down and to my wonderous surprise was a baby chickadee looking a bit dazed and confused, feathers a mess, sitting at my feet. He apparently was trying his wings out without the advice or protection of his parents and ran right into me!

    I had to laugh a little and my husband and I took a break, pulled out the lawn chairs and spent a half hour or so just watching this little guy attempt to fly from perch to perch in our yard. He finally got the hang of it after a while.
  4. by   Love-A-Nurse
    sounds wonderful, a pond that surrounds your garden. i like the beautiful, blue jay birds.
  5. by   jnette
    Lovely... we had a brook running through our backyard in Ct....
    ex-hubby dug out a pond with a little waterfall before running back into the brook again. The pond attracted mallard ducks and all kinds of other wonderful little creatures. Loved it. In summer my little daughter would swim in the pond and in winter she would iceskate on it.

    Have two birdhouses on the fenceposts outside my bedroom window...lasts year's couples are back to start another little family. I love sitting out in the backyard listening for cheeps ! And seeing tiny heads peep out of the little hole.
    Looking out my kitchen window I see squirrels, bunnies, ALL manner of birds, even a cocky redheaded woodpecker ! My favorites are my little chipmunks !
  6. by   jnette
    Just thought this was sooooo pretty... so I'll throw it in here for all to enjoy.

    This is our weather today.. and what I see outside my bedroom window.. although not my own photo. Kind of makes me feel all melancholy....
  7. by   dianah
    We live on the outskirts, semi-rural but still in a housing tract. Got a little electric "stone" fountain about a year ago, for the pleasure of hearing that water trickling and gurgling when we're outside. Planted a few new plants around it, then decided we needed a bird feeder, so that went up. LOTS of finches, sparrows, mourning doves . . . Last night the fountain area got ransacked: plants trampled, fountain rocks "rearranged," areas against the house dug up. We think it must be a raccoon, which is a nice surprise as long as s/he doesn't destroy the house! So, even in city limits (there are uninhabited hills within a half-mile) we can enjoy being "away," know what I mean? Love it! -- D
  8. by   cpgrn
    We feed birds all year. They really do need water and like water. We have had baby bluebirds here for the last three years. My hubby built houses and they just come. We also have a lot of humingbirds.
  9. by   nurs4kids
    Wonderful story. My dad hates those birds too..calls them "welfare birds"..i've tried to show him the beauty of them, he just can't see it. In his defense, they do wreck havoc on his garden..or did before he began shooting them

    My parent's feed birds and have a wonderful array of birds: hummingbirds, cardinals, blue birds, hawks, doves, ducks, storks (at least they look like storks <shrugs>)..I could sit on their porch and watch for days..
    the beauty of nature.
  10. by   jnette


    Have you ever truly listened
    to the sweet melody
    of a tiny, bright bird
    so joyous and free?

    Do you know that she sings
    come rain or come shine...
    she cares not the difference,
    she sings ALL the time.

    Have you heard in her song
    a message to you?
    Do you feel in your heart
    a need to sing, too?

    Sing Thanks for the morning,
    Sing Thanks for the day...
    remember to sing
    when things don't go your way !

    Sing with your smile
    and sing through your tears...
    the song in your heart
    will add LIFE to your years.

    For a heart filled with song
    which was born of the soul
    is a heart full of joy
    that never grows old.

    Like the tiny, bright bird
    a sweet melody
    will lite on your lips
    and set your cares free.


    Join birds on the wing
    as they sing "follow me"!
  11. by   funnygirl_rn
    We have bird feeders too. My favorites are the humming-birds. However, there is this little sparrow that purches on the window ledge when I am at my computer in the morning. Sometimes he just sits & stares at me. I just stare back at him. I swear he watches me drink my coffee while I read my email. He sits for a good hour on the same ledge every morning. Maybe it is a different bird..not sure...but it is kinda neat that I have a little friend each morning!

    Also, I think it is the blue-jays that are pooping on my car. I see them flying around with berries in their mouth...and the color of those berries match what is left on my car! They never poop on my husband's truck, just mine. Don't know why?
  12. by   oramar
    They did an article on the news last year about herons moving into suburban neighborhoods where there are artificial ponds and eating the fish. Some of the people are quite up in arms about it. It is as if they do not realize the bird can't tell the difference between an artifical enviroment and a natural enviroment. A heron is adapted to live and feed in a watery enviroment and any old one will do just fine. I am glad Raphael's tenents took care of the situation. A big Tom cat that lives around the corner from me watches to see if my garage door is open all the time. He knows I keep cat food in there for my cat and if the door is open it is an open invitation to him. Well the door was open the other day and he started up the driveway to make his raid. However, he did not know about the birds nesting near by and was dive bombed before he could get up the driveway. He fled back the way he came. I did not know my house was being guarded until then. I got quite a chuckle out of it.
  13. by   gwenith
    I Love the sound of the magpie in the morning. He has the brightest and prettiest song. Recently spent a few days out in onw of our national parks woke up in the moring to the "symphony" of the Australian bush - Magpie started it (Too Too weeee Tooo) then the harsher Craaack of the Cockatoo along with the twittering and pipings of the other birds and then overriding them all - the joyous laughter of the Kookaburra.