Ponds add a new dimension to your yard space, as well as attract some beneficial wildlife in your garden. With a nice pond, you can draw native wildlife like newts, hoverflies, pond skaters, water beetles, and mayflies. Besides, it is an eco-friendly way to reduce slug infestation and damage to your plants during the spring.
To attract wildlife in your pond, you need to grow and plant shrubs, trees, add a structural nesting area, create microhabitats, and add large rocks and logs to your pond’s edge.
Frogs, newts, and ducks are the most common animals you can attract into your pond. Flies, bugs, and other insects just pass by where clean water, shelter, and food are abundant. Although, you cannot predict when some of the wildlife will come pay a visit. Overall, you should always keep your pond ready and welcoming.
In this article, we will tackle the ways to attract wildlife to your backyard pond and how to attract specific wildlife to make small biodiversity in your residence.
5 Ways to Attract Wildlife to Your Backyard Pond
Once you have made a pond, it is hard to move it, so plan its location in your garden well. Ponds need sunlight to allow aquatic plants to water. The design and style of your pond are some of the things that attract wildlife and should match your garden’s style.
Here are five other ways to attract wildlife in your pond.
- Create Wildlife Microhabitats
Living creatures in your pond rely on microhabitats. Microhabitats are small areas around the pond that are concealed, deep, or shallow. Interesting wildlife will come into your pond if you create a microhabitat during the construction.
If you have an already existing pond, use a shovel to dig holes and coves. These constructed areas draw insects, turtles, frogs, and other neat creatures. You can also add small islands on the shore of the pond to add diversity and create space for wildlife.
Shallow pools that are separated from the pond by a sunken ridge draw frogs especially. It will be difficult for fish to swim up and eat them.
- Structural Nests
Structural nests are small rafts and wooden boxes that provide shelter for breeding waterfowls and birds. Research shows that putting wood duck boxes close to the woodland near the pond attracts more birds. Swallows and cavity-nesting birds draw more with the bluebird nest box.
Remember that different types of birds fancy different boxes. Install nesting boxes before spring to keep them safe and peaceful during the breeding season. Always put up nesting boxes where birds shelter from natural elements.
- Plant Trees and Shrubs
Plants draw different kinds of wildlife. Trees and shrubs provide shelter, nesting areas, shade, and most importantly, food for wildlife. Since some kinds of wood plants don’t grow well in the pond’s edge, especially if it’s wet, you should only plant what’s recommended to grow around the pond.
Trees also provide nesting places for birds, bats, and squirrels. If you have a large space, you can plant more trees and create more woodland habitats, attracting more wildlife.
Here are some shrubs and trees you can plant around your pond:
- Sedge grasses
- Joe-pye weed
- Wild rice
- Red maple
- Red-twig dogwood
- Highbush cranberry
- Rocks and Logs
Building rock outcroppings and adding half-sunken logs and branches to the pond is the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to attract wildlife.
Cold-blooded turtles use flat, sunny rocks and logs for laying basking in the sun. Dragonflies, frogs, toads, salamanders, fish, and other animals depend on these structures for breeding, sunning, protection, and food supply.
You can use durable, logs like cedar or oak, to float away from the bank. Whenever possible, avoid plants like willow and pine as they decompose quickly. Allow the leaves or trees to fall, with branches and limbs sticking into and out of the water. The trunk should be resting on the pond’s edge.
Also, if you add rocks, allow some vegetation to grow. This will provide shelter and food supply to other wildlife living in your pond. A rock pile must have one flat slab, allowing wildlife to crawl upon it.
- Cultivate a Wilderness Area
To attract more wildlife, leave some wild lawn imitating a meadow that draws voles, shrews, and other mammals that eat grass and insects. A stack of dead wood encourages beetles and grub, which attracts larger grazers.
If you own a pond, avoid using chemicals to clear water and reduce pondweed as these chemicals can kill and endanger the life and health of wildlife hanging out in the pond. You should learn and read about herbicides and algaecide carefully. If chemicals are used in the wrong way, it can pose danger and harm the wildlife in the pond.
How to Attract Specific Wildlife to Your Pond
Ponds are a great feature if you want to add life to your yard. It attracts wildlife from newts, frogs, birds, hedgehogs, and other unexpected visitors.
Sometimes, a lot of unexpected species come to your pond. However, you only want to attract specific creatures as too many species can overcrowd your pond. Here’s how to attract specific wildlife to your pond.
- Attracting Newts
Newts are cute and semi-aquatic beings. Although some breeds of newts are protected, you can try attracting them by:
- Offering them shelter. Newts tend to hide and shelter throughout the year. To draw them into your pond, you can build a loose rockery near it. They also like hiding underneath logs, so you can add some rotten logs near your pond.
- Newts lay their eggs in plants like forget-me-nots, water speedwell, flote-grass, and watercress. You can plant these to draw newts for they are vegetation lovers.
- If you have fish in your pond, you can’t attract newts. However, fish eat baby newts upon hatching, so unfortunately, you can’t have both in your pond.
- Attracting Frogs
If you’re a big fan of frogs, you have to provide them with basic needs, including shelter, food, a breeding area, and moisture to attract them. If you want to attract these amphibians, make sure that your pond is welcoming to them.
- Frogs love to take a dip, so your pond is the best place for them. Add some shallow banks or edges it for it will be easy for frogs to get in and out. Provide frogs the ideal humid and moist environment by incorporating some plants.
- Moist shrubs and pond plants are the best additions to create a breeding place and shelter for frogs. You must have a portion in your pond that is rich in vegetation, such as leafy mulch.
- Frogs help reduce the insect population in your yard. Indeed, mosquitoes, slugs, beetles, cockroaches, moths, and flies are food for frogs. You can try keeping a couple of insects that are friendly to your plants near the pond to draw some frogs.
You can’t attract fish into your pond; you either have to buy or catch them, then bring them home. However, to keep your fish alive and healthy in your pond, you have to make it well oxygenated and maintain the right pH balance.
- Attracting Ducks
To draw ducks into your garden pond, increase the water clarity. Clearwater attracts aquatic plants, snails, and insects, which are migratory ducks’ primary food.
Ducks don’t like disturbances, so you have to reduce the disturbance around your pond. Human activities scare away ducks, especially if you’re near a pond. A disturbance will drive ducks away and force them to relocate elsewhere.
Add some duck food plants in one of the areas of your pond. Increasing the diversity of foods and adding duck food draws more ducks.
Make sure that your yard is welcoming and accessible to wildlife by building a pond. Adding some plants that will shelter and provide them with food sources is the best way to attract various species and make them feel at home.