Call 877-493-7660   M-F 8A-6P ET

Fast, Free Shipping over $95

Creating the perfect home for ducks and other waterfowl

Many Waterfowl species are migratory, traveling between breeding grounds in the northern region of the United States and Canada, and wintering in the southern US or even farther south. Some waterfowl species are non-migratory and may establish homes in private ponds.

Non migratory waterfowl may stay in the same location year round if conditions are suitable. Some of these conditions include a clean easily accessible water source, nesting habitat, and adequate food.

how to attract ducks to your pond

Duck Habitat / Swan Habitat:

Earthen ponds offer a diverse habitat with both shallow and deeper areas that can accommodate different waterfowl preferences. Dabbling ducks (puddle ducks), such as mallard ducks and wood ducks, prefer the shallow areas for foraging. Diving ducks (sea ducks) such as canvasback prefer deeper water. All waterfowl need clear entry and exit access on the pond banks.

Planting vegetation such native grasses and shrubs around the pond edges provide shelter and hiding spots from predators. These types of shoreline vegetation attract waterfowl and contribute to shoreline stabilization and nutrient management. Here is our shoreline seed blend.

Plants for duck habitat also supports a variety of insects which are part of the waterfowl diet. Choosing a variety of plants ensures year-round benefits. Some additional benefits include food, cover and nesting opportunities. Native smart grass, submerged grass, and water lilies aid in oxygenating water and filtering out excess nutrients.

Floating Islands are a great option for waterfowl habitat. They provide secure nesting sites for birds. Floating islands provide protection from land predators. The islands are constructed of buoyant materials that can be planted with wetland plants. By planting the islands they also provide water quality benefits as well. Roots of the plants on these islands remove nutrients from the pond water.

During the winter months, it is essential to keep an open surface area for waterfowl to have access to the water. Consider installing a deicer in your pond to open a larger surface area of water.

What do ducks eat?

Waterfowl are mostly omnivores. Duck and swan diet includes a mix of aquatic plants, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Pond vegetation is a great source of nutrition for waterfowl. They can eat up to 10% of their body weight in plant matter a day. Within the plants live insects which also make up a portion of the waterfowl diet. This is especially important for ducklings.

If you are considering supplying a waterfowl feeding station, ensure you provide suitable feed such as waterfowl pellets, peas, grains, and oats. Waterfowl should not be fed junk food or bread.

Why cant you feed ducks bread? Bread lacks nutritional value to waterfowl. They will fill themselves with bread and forgo other nutritional food. This can lead to a disease called angel wing which impacts birds ability to fly.

Floating waterfowl food provides a complete diet for birds. It also creates a sanitary way to feed ducks, swans and geese. Left over food will not lay on the shorelines to make a mess. Food not eaten by ducks can be consumed by other aquatic life!

How to keep a duck pond clean

Clean Water is vital for waterfowl to remain healthy. Waterfowl produce a significant amount of waste that leads to unhealthy water conditions. Waterfowl excrement and disturbance of sediment during foraging introduces excess nutrients into the water in high concentrations.

High levels of ammonia, nitrate, phosphate lead to algal blooms and cyanobacteria blooms. High ammonia in water is not good for consumption. The combination of high nutrients and reduced oxygen (from waste) impact other aquatic life that waterfowl depend on.

Steps to Improve Water Quality for Ducks:

  1. Install an aeration system- aeration improves circulation of water, increases dissolved oxygen for aquatic life, and improves water quality conditions
  2. Regular maintenance treatments of beneficial bacteria in your pond- Treatments like Muck Remover, Pond Cleanse, and Metafloc reduce unwanted nutrients. These treatments are completely natural and safe for all aquatic life
  3. Install shoreline plants and submerged aquatic plants- these are natural water filters, helping to absorb some of the excess nutrients in the water.

    Control Undesirable Invasive Aquatic Plants

    Waterfowl are not fond of invasive vegetation like hydrilla and watermilfoil. Invasive aquatic plants can diminish native plants by overpowering them. It is important to manage aggressive plant species by aquatic herbicide or physical removal.