• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

The Pond (1 Viewer)

I have always wanted to build my own little bird sanctuary and 32 years ago it started with 5 acres. The first thing I built was a pond in 1980, 125 feet by 180 feet tear drop shape. The birds that it has attracted over the years have been amazing from the cedar waxwing to the American bittern. Like to hear of other forum members "bird sanctuaries" and some ideas they have incorporated to attract birds.
 

Attachments

  • American Bittern 1.jpg
    American Bittern 1.jpg
    212.6 KB · Views: 264
  • cedar waxwing.JPG
    cedar waxwing.JPG
    119.5 KB · Views: 244

Craig S

Member
That is very impressive.
I hope you get some replies to your post it would be very interesting to hear what others have done.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Wow! That sounds great Gary.:t:

I'd love to see some more pictures of the habitat and pond you've created.

D
 

Adam M

Well-known member
I would LOVE to do this on a larger scale, turing 5 acres of land into my own nature reserve would be my idea of heaven. I am hoping to work in conservation in the future, but this obviously means working at established large scale sites, not creating my own. The thought of single handedly making my own wildlife sanctuary is almost too good to be legal.

Although my garden is no where near 5 acres, I have attempted to attract more wildlife to it. I decided the best way to do it was to give them as much food and variety of habitats as possible. Started with a native hedgerow at the back of the garden, which includes hawthorn and blackthorn, with the odd larger tree and shrub thrown in for some diversity, namely alder, rowan and pyracantha. That should provide losts of berries and also be host to numerous moth caterpillars. Planted a couple of flower beds to attract butterflies and their caterpillars. Again mainly native species, cuckooflower, nettles, scabious, knapweed, thistles, birds foot trefoil, the list is quite extensive. Also dug out a pond and filled that again with native plants. Left some shallow edges for the birds to bathe in and drink from.

As I said this is only the first year, so the flowers are yet to, well, flower and the trees and shrubs are still only little. Hopefully the next 5 years or so will see a marked increase in the wildlife, including birds, in my garden. American bittern in the pond wouldn't go a miss :-O

What you have done sounds amazing, well done!!

Adam
 

Craig S

Member
Gary and Vallant you certainly have or are going to achieve a wonderful bird habitat. You both seem to be living my dream. Ideally I would love a house on a property with a lagoon, bullrushes, bushes, tress, some which would bear berries. I would put up a swallow house and a bat house.
Presently we live in a small town with about 200' of hedge, a berry tree (can't recall what type it is), and a willow tree. We get about 20 different breeds of birds at our feeders.
We have a nyjer seed, sunflower seed, mixed seed, Oriole, Hummingbird, peanut feeder, suet feeder and a bird bath. The seed feeders are located about 10' in front of our living room window with the remaining feeders and bird bath in the willow tree about 15' from our living room window. This provides us with ample bird watching opportunities.
I am afraid this is about as good as it is going to get for us on this property. Not that I am complaining, but your sites seem to be pretty well rounded for a variety of birds. Good for you, enjoy.
 

Adam M

Well-known member
Gary and Vallant you certainly have or are going to achieve a wonderful bird habitat. You both seem to be living my dream. Ideally I would love a house on a property with a lagoon, bullrushes, bushes, tress, some which would bear berries. I would put up a swallow house and a bat house.
Presently we live in a small town with about 200' of hedge, a berry tree (can't recall what type it is), and a willow tree. We get about 20 different breeds of birds at our feeders.
We have a nyjer seed, sunflower seed, mixed seed, Oriole, Hummingbird, peanut feeder, suet feeder and a bird bath. The seed feeders are located about 10' in front of our living room window with the remaining feeders and bird bath in the willow tree about 15' from our living room window. This provides us with ample bird watching opportunities.
I am afraid this is about as good as it is going to get for us on this property. Not that I am complaining, but your sites seem to be pretty well rounded for a variety of birds. Good for you, enjoy.

To be honest my garden isn't brilliantly placed or sized, just making the most out of it that I can. I would love to be either out near some farmland or next to a woodland, instead my garden backs on to a mcdonalds drive thru :-C I realised putting feeders up only attracts certain species of bird and I wanted not only different species of birds but a more biodiverse garden in general. So I sat down with a blank piece of paper and drew a birdseye view of what I wanted and where, then I did most of the work over last summer and winter. I can highly recommend it to anyone, the joy you get out of seeing something new in your garden and knowing its only there because of the work you have put into it is incredible.

I too want a larger site to go at, hoping for a lottey win sometime soon :king:

Adam
 

Craig S

Member
Still sounds like you are going to have a nice setup Vallant. Do the best you can with what you have. That is what we have basically done. We would love to have a garden, vegetable and flower, but where we live the weeds are pervasive, they would require weeding daily and we would rather spend our time doing other things. We have some flower pots, they are demanding enough for us.
Good luck with your garden I'm certain it will be to your liking and a worthwhile accomplishment.
 
I would LOVE to do this on a larger scale, turing 5 acres of land into my own nature reserve would be my idea of heaven. I am hoping to work in conservation in the future, but this obviously means working at established large scale sites, not creating my own. The thought of single handedly making my own wildlife sanctuary is almost too good to be legal.

Although my garden is no where near 5 acres, I have attempted to attract more wildlife to it. I decided the best way to do it was to give them as much food and variety of habitats as possible. Started with a native hedgerow at the back of the garden, which includes hawthorn and blackthorn, with the odd larger tree and shrub thrown in for some diversity, namely alder, rowan and pyracantha. That should provide losts of berries and also be host to numerous moth caterpillars. Planted a couple of flower beds to attract butterflies and their caterpillars. Again mainly native species, cuckooflower, nettles, scabious, knapweed, thistles, birds foot trefoil, the list is quite extensive. Also dug out a pond and filled that again with native plants. Left some shallow edges for the birds to bathe in and drink from.

As I said this is only the first year, so the flowers are yet to, well, flower and the trees and shrubs are still only little. Hopefully the next 5 years or so will see a marked increase in the wildlife, including birds, in my garden. American bittern in the pond wouldn't go a miss :-O

What you have done sounds amazing, well done!!

Adam
The energy you show in describing you own habitat is inspiring to me. It doesn't matter how big your bird garden is, just the fact that you are creating one is great. I see so many yards with acres and acres of mowed lawn and wonder what a great wildlife garden that would make. Stick with your dreams. Gary
 
Just got my property noted as a bird sanctuary with the Audubon. Got a nice plate to hang on a post with lots of information of improving the area. It is a program they promote, not a big deal but it means a lot to me and thats all that matters.
 

Craig S

Member
Hi Gary
Congratulations on your Audubon Bird Sanctuary. Your work has been rewarded, I would be quite proud to have that designation. Hope you post some more pictures of your sanctuary, a pic of the plate would be nice too.
 
Here is the Bird Sanctuary Plate sponsored by the Audubon society for individuals devoting thier patch as a bird sanctuary. The top is from the Audubon for a bird sanctuary and the bottom is from the National Wildlife Federation from their Backyard Wildlife Program. The other shows my feeding stations with the pond in the background. Its a great hobby.
 

Attachments

  • feeder station.jpg
    feeder station.jpg
    262 KB · Views: 260
  • sanctuary plates.jpg
    sanctuary plates.jpg
    263.6 KB · Views: 240

Craig S

Member
You should be proud. Looks very nice, it is something that I dream of doing. Well done. i'm certain you will get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from your sanctuary.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
What a beautiful area Gary. You've done a great job.

D
 
Two mallards were on the pond all day. The rain would come then some sun and a chilly fall wind. The screech owl poked its head out from time to time, it has been back for over a month now. Finally got the feeder filled and small birds love it. Chickadees, tufted titmouse, bluejays like the peanuts, nuthatches like the shelled ones, the redbellied woodpeckers enjoy the big square suet, and the coopers hawk likes the birds. hey we all gotta eat. it was a great birthday.
 
The pond is froze over, the temperature not reaching the freezing mark for weeks. The screech owl pokes its head out to soak up the warmth of the sun when the clouds part and only the usual feeder birds are picking at the peanuts, thistle and oil sunflower at the station. They seem to be more tame or maybe just hungry and I must get some winter pictures. My sister called with good news that the screech owl box I put up for her last year, finally had one take up residence. A grey phase was looking out this afternoon. Christmas bird counts taking place in western pa. and must get involved in one.
 

Zoogoer2000 - Packwatcher

Well-known member
I too have a smaller property in a suburban area. I have made the most of what I have and have had great results!

Our yard is in a good location to start off with, we have 5 huge mature deciduous trees around the yard, a thick cedar hedgerow surrounding the back, a lilac and magnolia tree, thick deciduous bushes, a huge blackberry patch and surrounding swamp, forest and pastureland

We are only on a 1/4 of an acre to ourselves, but I use the area around me to my advantage

Several of our neighbours have bird sanctuaries too, so we share birds beetween each other

A park one house over from us has huge mature pine trees, which also attract many birds!

Within our yard, I have added many logs and natural elements to make our yard more inviting to birds, I also leave the leaves on the ground after they've fallen to recreate a forest floor type feeling

I have over 20 feeders and feed a wide variety of seeds, suets and other alternatives

I have nestboxes mounted for squirrels, screech owls, wrens and chickadees. I also plan on mounting a wood duck box in the future, as well as bluebird and tree swallow nest boxes

A bird bath even attracted yellow warblers this summer!

My message to everyone is make the most of your property, no matter how large or small it is!
 

Sahria

Active member
This thread is so inspiring and has truly put a smile on my face. What it needs though is more PICTURES!! (I've been sick since New Year's so am birding and generally enjoying nature vicariously through my computer)

Congratulations to all of you for creating such beautiful areas, and to Gary for the Audubon recognition.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top