The task of pond upkeep & encounters with it’s residents

We have this pond out behind our back fence. When we bought the house we understood the pond wasn’t our property, rather it was owned and maintained by the homeowners association. Shortly after becoming home owners we were curious and pulled our own property card to learn exactly how far out we owned since we were planning to expand our gardening space and perhaps our back fence.

The property card showed us as being shared owners of the pond, all the way across the water and backing up to the other community’s back yards. This was good news in terms of extra land but bad news in terms of responsibility for the quickly deteriorating state of the pond area. Some of our fellow pond owners refuse to mow the grass behind their back fences that was always part of their home’s lot, getting them to step up and take responsibility for the pond upkeep is destined for failure.

The pond has algae and is also overrun with pond reeds, to the point that last year and also this year you can’t even see the pond water anymore. So, between us and our next-door neighbors we bought the stuff to kill of the pond reeds and have been in the process of removing them this week.

We made some good progress the first day then we noticed these nests in the reeds with eggs.

Red winged blackbird eggs to be specific. So, in light of the eggs and nests we decided to just work around them and remove as much as we could. By that time there were already a few casualties, the nests that came down before we noticed them. About 6 eggs from two separate nests that we didn’t know what to do with.

The next day while working Nathan noticed actual newly hatched baby birds in a nest so we opted to halt the reed removal for a week or two. The nest with babies was kind of close to the bank so I was able to get a few pictures of them. I was also able to dump the orphaned nests of eggs in to a surrogate nest near the bank in an effort to save the poor things.

Now, we are all for the circle of life and all but the last thing we want to do is destroy the breeding process of the resident birds in the reeds. Sure they’ll need to find new homes once the reeds are removed but we draw the line at killing live babies. So we’ve taken a break from our pond cleanup, pending the hatching and growing of the baby birds.

The displaced eggs I put in the shore side nest are being cared for too! I’ve seen the female red winged blackbird sitting on them in the mornings. So, things are looking improved though. We just need to dispose of the clipped and dead pond reeds now.

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