Mallard ducks taken claim to pond and bog

jpinard(z5 MI)April 21, 2009

They're so cute, but I think they're tearing up our bog. Any way to co-exist with them? Or are they doing what I fear? It's been 3 straight days now and we've trying scaring them off about 30x.

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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Do you have a friend who can lend you some hunting dogs for a few weeks? Truthfully I don't know of another solution. Several years ago I planted a big bed of lavendar at the Extension gardens. It was right in front of a building exit next to a parking lot. Before anyone was quite sure what happened, a duck had laid a dozen eggs in the middle of the lavendar. We left her alone and everything was fine until 2 days before the eggs were ready to hatch. Something attacked the nest and the next day I spent an hour sweeping up parts of baby ducks. Yuck. The next year she was back and for years after. And the eggs were destroyed each and every year. She tried to hide the nest behind the huge ornamental grasses and we tried to get her to go into a nesting box but she never did manage to hatch a clutch. She finally didn't show up about three years ago. It was nerve wracking. The persistance of the species is unbelieveable. If you allow them to stay you will have them from now on. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:39PM
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jpinard(z5 MI)

Yikes. The dog idea is nice. I wonder if I can control a dog to not go in the pond overnight?

Yes, the ducks sure are tenacious. We wake up and look outside and they're sleeping between our bog and pond. Then they hop in and make a splashy mess in the water.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:54PM
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Male mallards are being over hunted. yes, Im a treehugger.
do you have enough room to make them an extra boggy area?
When I was a little girl, i used to see them all the it's rare. i guess my soul really belongs in John Lennon's attitude...'Live and let Live'. Please don't take my response the wrong way, i know how much time people here spend putting together their 'places of solitude'...but as we invade their spaces, they are forced to come into strikes me as odd, that people are listed as 'homo sapien sapiens'...i think we should be renamed...'party animal' long as we're doing fine, the rest of the planet can 'go to hell'.
Again, i know my own human nature is blunt as i speak my mind...but there has got to be another way???? dogs? omg
And Sandy, i know we don't disagree on very many issues...but dogs? perhaps i don't fully understand your meaning here? hunting/bird dogs are trained to jump into water and retrieve birds, they'll do more damage than the birds, imho.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 11:26AM
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Mallards are over hunted????? So me some research or is this just treehugger spreading non sense????

If mallards are over hunted the US dept of Fish and Wildlife, Yes, that right they are under federal jurisdiction, would lessen the bag limits or list them as protected species.

So please show me some research to back up your unproven statements!!!!

If they feel safe they will stay. Just like above if they nest they will return every year to the same area to nest. Mallards are puddle ducks. You dont have to worry about your fish too much but your plants are fair game. They will eventually make a mess of your pond.

Keep chasing them away. LOL about 2 weeks ago I had a pair in my pond. Noticed from the bathroom window. out the door I went with the dog in my drawers LMAO the wife thought I was nuts. And the neighbors probably did also. The have less fear of humans becasue at every park people feed them. Borrow a dog and chase them away a few times. Even just if the dog is on a leash. They fear predator animals much more then humans. They will be less likely to come back.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:05PM
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i respect your response. the world is a great place with peeps of different mindsets. the last link i will issue here even agrees with you. i still would not use dogs, no matter what, to control ducks in a controlled environment. And i have limited information as to who you are, i am 49 years old, and grew up in northern kentucky. i used to watch these birds for hours. by the end of my childhood, thankfully long...i saw less and less of them...when moving to FL, i have only seen two...on their long path of migration. I respectfully agree to disagree with you.[1297:VOMTHW]2.0.CO;2?journalCode=wbul
Nicci :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:28PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Nicci, you must live off of the migratory flyways. The problem is that unless you have a lot of water for those ducks, you are going to have big problems. Like it or not ducks and geese need a lot of space to live in and if their space is in someone's ornamental pond it just isn't going to work. Ducks and geese are dirty birds and they make a lined pond unfit in a couple of days. If you have more than one or two birds you might as well fill the pond in unless the pond is upwards of 100000 gallons which is ridiculous for a lined pond. It is not possible to talk over-population to a duck or goose determined to nest. I have seen them build nests in the most irrational places such as behind a bush in the drive-thru at a Taco Bell and the lavender bed at the Extension. Once they build a nest and lay eggs in a spot, they will continue to try that place from then on even though they fall prey to traffic or nocturnal raids by raccoons. And since they are protected by the migratory bird regulations you cannot do anything to harm them even if you want to. The best that can be done is to keep them flying until they find some other spot that doesn't have a rollie pollie puppy rushing up to greet them when ever they try to land. A Labrador puppy or a beagle pup that is not going to be used as a hunting dog is the dog of choice but there are others. It must be done before a nesting spot is chosen or eggs laid. The dogs delight in chasing the birds but the adult birds are not going to get caught and eventually they go looking for a different nesting spot, hopefully where there is enough water to handle their waste and there is a food supply for them. Some people have success with netting or strung fishing line but a lot of birds get tangled in it.
I think there is nothing more stupid than a person buying a home with a lakeshore who then has fits about the geese and ducks that have been there for years. It gets a bit more complicated when you can't leave your home because the ducks and geese have decided your front yard plantings are perfect cover for their nest and the nearest water is the backyard swimming pool two blocks down.
I have spent hours trapping a duck with a plastic ring around its neck and bill, and hours directing cars away from a stopping off site for migratory swans and doing my best to protect nesting sites from being developed. I really want what is best for the birds but there is something to be said for the appellation bird-brain. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:57PM
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I knew we really agreed, and i had misunderstood your intent. thanks for clearing that up. yes, the birds i watched as a child had 2 deep subject places, a pond and a lake. and yes, very dirty. i would watch them traverse the water, and the poops were filthy as they did this floating on surface. my Mother kept ducks and geese, both nasty to the water, but essential if in a large the lake and pond i used to watch, feeding it essential nutrients with their poop. such a large system would invite this, but you are right when i think of one smaller, unable to handle this huge introduction.
do you mean to use the dogs (in your original post) to only be on leash and frighten off birds? this silly website does not allow me to post an afterthought until another individual posts, so as fast as my fingers type, i couldn't add that to my first.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:37PM
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This is directly cut and pasted from the link you provided when I asked to prove your comments about m,allards being OVER hunted.

"Although the Mallard is the most heavily hunted duck species in North America, its populations remain more or less steady, and the species is not considered in danger. Nevertheless, managers carefully monitor and manage Mallard populations and their habitats to ensure the continued prosperity of this extremely popular and successful duck."

From the third link. What you said is not true. And my response is founded by your link. Im really not being confrontational but my livelyhood and my families depends on hunting. Im a taxidermist by trade. I take offense when anti hunting people state facts on a public forum that are simply not true. I read through all of your links you provided and not one of them state they Mallards are OVER hunted. They are heavily hunted. Yes but they are alos the popular waterfowl to hunt. Seasons and bag limits are controled and closely monitored by the USF&W. I trust they know their job.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 3:35PM
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I like ponds, and wildlife. But the anti-hunters have gotten it backwards now. People in the year 2009 do not "hunt" like 1809. The days of mindless slaughter are over. Hunted animals are carefully regulated, and their numbers are tracked. Gone are the days where people just shoot animals and leave the carcass to rot.

If they are not culled with a hunting season, many tragic things happen to animal populations. Deer overbreed, and flood an area, then as the booming population eats the available food, they begin to starve. Those that don't starve outright are ravaged by disease as they are too weak to fight infections or the weather.

So what is better? Feeding a family that enjoys nature, and the bounty that it provides....or a forest full of emaciated, disease ridden animals that are slowly dying due to a unchecked population explosion?

I'll go for the first. If you don't want to hunt....don't. Life isn't a Disney film. Contrary to popular belief the animals don't sing, there are not fairies in the forest, and the animals don't all get along.

I vote for the dogs as well. The ducks will leave. And if they don't, go to DNR and get a permit and have a nice Duck ala 'orange.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 3:48PM
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Personally I dont hunt ducks or geese. Dont like it. Blah!!! LOL

I dont believe in killing just to kill. My family eats everything harvested. My daughter love squirrel and rabbit. Love it! Ask for it for dinner.

But hey the people that do, more power to them. They keep me in business.

Also realize tons of meat gets donated annually. There are various prgrams out there. Hunters Feeding the Hungry comes to mind. Meat that in the past would be wasted goes to food banks, and homeless shelters.

Everyone has an opion on hunting and thats great. Im perfectly fine with everyones opinion but please dont state facts that just simply are not true. I will end on that.

To the orignal poster. Please do yourself a favor and rid your small pond of the ducks. Let then live on a nice farm pond, lake or river that can handle the excess nutrient load. Do whatever you can to make them leave. If they nest and its that time of year. They will be back for years to come.

Wayne those ducks that nested by your work sdaly didnt amke it any longer or they would be back. They nest the same place every year.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:31PM
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horton(6 b Ontario.)

Chase the ducks away as often as it takes to get rid of them.
They are cute, no doubt about that, but they will pollute your pond with their waste, in no time flat.
Unless you have a massive filtering system or you don't mind green water, scare them away.
You could stretch fishing line over the pond area to make it difficult for them to land in the water or the ground around it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 5:04PM
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I don't know how big your pond is but you could try putting a net over it until they leave. The other option is fishing line on poles all around the area until they leave. They use the fishing line thing to control seagulls in some areas.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 4:05PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Nicci, it is sad that some species of birds have gone for good but there really are some good groups working to keep the birds healthy and populous. Some of the things that have happened in recent years are the dredging of waterways to remove old lead containing birdshot that missed the bird. There was so much of it that people who ate the birds who swallowed the birdshot were getting lead poisoning. The birds had lead poisoning too. The swan that had been reduced to near extinction has made a major comeback. So much so that it is now competing for the space it once filled that was taken up by another swan species. The Sandhill Crane is no longer endangered.
Pheasants that were sadly reduced by hunting have been reintroduced to grasslands and they are well nurtured by the DNR. Let me tell you, they make it hard on anyone who interfers with those birds. One of these days I'll tell you about my Pheasant in the Furnace Room that made my poor dog a nervous wreck, had the DNR calling me daily and how I learned to deal with a big bird with a concussion.
The biggest problem the birds have now other than where to nest is disease. Places like Horicon Marsh are home to untold millions of birds every year and biologists are doing their best to prevent the spread of so many diseases that decimate a species and infect others who use the same space. I would love to spend a week there just watching the birds in the marsh. It is spectacular. Think of flamingo flocks and multiply by thousands.
Oh, the permanent resident Canadian Goose population here has become so huge that the DNR issues permits for the destruction of the eggs. Pinholes are made in the shell so the chick never develops but the egg is left in the nest so the goose keeps sitting on it rather than laying a new clutch. The geese on the IUPurdue campus have increased by a factor of 4 each of the past 5 years. It is scary when a group marches past.
The Perrigrene Falcon that has a permanent movie camera focused on its nest downtown, has had 5 successful years of raising babies. Blue birds are no longer endangered and the species is expanding its range. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 6:50PM
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I thought I had heard that there was also some disease causing pheasant populations to die out. I had noticed that pheasants disappeared even in non-hunting areas in PA. I don't know if I agree with re-introducing them since they were non-native and re-introductions don't always go well. When DNR reintroduced Canada geese to the Chesapeake Bay region years ago to build up a dwindling population, they screwed up and used Canada geese from the midwest-a population that doesn't migrate. So now, area lakes and ponds are overloaded and the water polluted. There are actually geese-ridding services that use dogs to weekly run off the resident geese, not that they'll go too far away.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 7:10AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Riverspots, our geese in Indiana used to migrate. It has been only the past 15-20 years that they began to winter over in such numbers. Oldtimers say it is because we have warmer winters. I can't say since I am not a native. There were always some that stayed over in north central Wisconsin where we lived for 24 years. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:02AM
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Pheasant populations have been reduced by the use of a product called no till. Its used on fields so they can be planted without having to till them first. I dotn remember exactly now but it caused problems to the eggs. they were either too hard and the chicks couldnt hatch or they were to soft and the hens crushed them while sittting on them. I dont remember which. But I do remember a very good article about it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 3:14PM
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jpinard(z5 MI)

We just found out today there are "living" 4 houses down from is in someone's covered pool. They've tried driving them away with air-soft guns but to no avail. My wife and I worked outside all day and the male Mallard came diving in like a kamikaze to go after plants in the pond. He did it 3 times and we scared him away after a few seconds. If he makes us cover our pond with netting that will so totally stink. Awfully hard to "work" on your pond each day when you have to net it too.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 10:56PM
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Yes it does. i dotn net mine at all. Im lucky so far with herons and new house with only small trees.

Not only the mess factor but you also have to worry about parasites and other critters catching a ride into your pond from the belly of a duck.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:35PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Is it possible to catch them and release at a lake. One answer on my link is good. Ignore the silly answers.

Here is a link that might be useful: night vision of ducks

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 4:49PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Sorry I didn't come back sooner, Helen. It would be illegal to trap the birds unless you could get the DNR to issue a permit and I haven't heard of that happening. I expect the birds would beat you back. It would be difficult to move them any way since they are flocking birds and a flock would be too difficult to catch and transport at one time.
I expect using the pups to chase the birds could make the DNR unhappy. But it would depend on the situation. I would check with the authorities in advance and I know they would forbid it when the birds were nesting. I would be more concerned about injuries to the dogs than to the birds. If you have ever faced an angry duck or goose you know what I mean. Sandy

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 3:09PM
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I dont think DNR would have an issue with them being chased away as long as they dont get harmed in the process.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 3:15PM
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Well, that would depend if you get to them before they drop their eggs. When that happens, all bets are off until they hatch.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 4:30PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I would call your local Dept. of Conservation office and ask what to do. I didn't know there was a flock; I pictured two or three because they come to my farm pond in those numbers. I would think you could defend your property in a residential area. Birds do carry disease and make a mess. I have faced and got pinched and flogged by an angry goose many times; it when back to its friends and laughed about it.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:21PM
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The geese that were reintroduced to the Chesapeake Bay area came from Minnesota or Wisconsin so that fits with your observations. The migratory population later recovered due to restricted hunting so now there are decendants of both geese populations. I don't know if the two typically interbreed. I think DNR here has set up two hunting seasons for geese. One in the fall and one in spring, after the migratory population has already headed north.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 7:04AM
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jpinard(z5 MI)

Nope these are just a mal/female Malard. No flock. A flock of Mallard ducks flew over our house yesterday and I was hoping our little hellions would join up and follow them away. But nooooooooooooooo.................. Aghhhh!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 11:10AM
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My Aunt had geese in her back yard a lot. Her house was near a shallow stream. they poop EVERYWHERE. I wouldn't want them in my pond or yard. i know we're talking about ducks but I'm sure they're similar.

And I hug trees! But only when no one is looking. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:26PM
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cherrycreek(z5 Colorado)

I used to raise ducks and geese. I actually think they may be messier than a pig! Truthfully. hmm, I wonder how something can be so cute but yet so nasty? lol I'd have them in kiddy swimming pools, and it would be filled with black muck. My ducks and geese wouldn't stay out of my pond, so I caught them all and gave them to my grandmother who has a huge natural pond. They are in heaven there now. After they left, I cleaned out my pond, you would not believe the feathers and muck! And they really weren't in there all that much. We have a swamp that runs thru our farm, and there we have lots of Mallards and Wood ducks. Good luck getting sending them packing!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:59AM
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Riverspots I have never heard of geese being brought in from Mn. Thats interesting.

But yes there are 2 seperate sesons. One hits when the migration takes place. Then there is a early resident goose season and a late one. Before and after the migration.

Geese mate for life. for the most part the 2 subspecies done breed. Since the migratory birds will be in canada on nests. The resident birds dont know the directions to get there. LOL

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:18PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

sandy - i would like to hear your story of the pheasant in the furnace room. you mentioned it on april 23rd. bet its a good one!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:47PM
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