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20130518

We live in midtown, surrounded on all sides by houses, on a 120' x 40' plot (about 40m x 15m). Since we moved in, we've been trying to keep things animal-friendly, and I think we're succeeding. There is a robin family nesting in the junipers out front, sparrows (as always) in a hole in our eaves, a pair of grackles nesting in the elm tree, about 10m up, another pair of grackles nesting in an archway we have allowed Virginia Creeper and Mandarin Honeysuckle to grow over, and (my favourite), a song sparrow (sounds like this one). The song sparrow, like any tiny thing that makes a huge noise, is very timid, and it's hard to witness him in action, but he seems to be bold enough now to come out and sing while we're sitting in the garden. This makes us very happy.

But we may have reached a red line here. There is an above-ground pool in the back, which is normally covered. But because we have two large trees over it, it's always full of leaves. In the fall, we let the leaves collect in the cover, and it fills up about a foot deep with fresh water, becoming a pond. Which has now broken out in mallards:

Mallards in the "Pond"

They're "city" mallards, meaning they have no fear of us. We had company over for dinner last night, and they were perfectly content to dibble about all evening while we watched (and one guest threw bread). They even started checking out the alium beds to see if they were appropriate for nesting in.

I hope they don't start nesting, because when we open up the pool, there goeth their pond.

But is suspect my biggest worry this year will be being dive bombed by not one, but TWO sets of grackles whenever I try to mow the grass in the back.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
asakiyume
May. 18th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
There is an above-ground pool in the back, which is normally covered. But because we have two large trees over it, it's always full of leaves. In the fall, we let the leaves collect in the cover, and it fills up about a foot deep with fresh water, becoming a pond. Which has now broken out in mallards

Hahaha--love it.

Too bad there's not some way you could keep their company even after you open up the pool.
barry_king
May. 18th, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
I was worried that they'd nest and then they'd lay eggs, and then the chicks would starve because the pool had suddenly gone sterile.
asakiyume
May. 18th, 2013 01:44 pm (UTC)
(though this is a snow bunting, not a song sparrow)
(Also, song sparrows' songs are beautiful)
barry_king
May. 18th, 2013 07:54 pm (UTC)
Re: (though this is a snow bunting, not a song sparrow)
Is it really? I know our sparrow makes the song that you hear one minute in.
asakiyume
May. 18th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
Re: (though this is a snow bunting, not a song sparrow)
What I meant was that my *icon* was a snow bunting. Sorry about that!
barry_king
May. 18th, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
Re: (though this is a snow bunting, not a song sparrow)
D'Oh!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )