Tag Archives: Pond

Look Who Came By For Lunch

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – Ardea herodias     Atlanta, GA – Peachtree Park – December 1, 2015

It’s always a surprise and a great treat when he comes to our little pond.    Sibley says Great Blue Herons stand mostly still while they are foraging.  This adult bird was exhibiting that behavior.  Time to buy some more fish.

When he leaves, it’s fascinating to watch.  It’s a really skilled thing to navigate through all of the tree limbs in such a compact space.

Great Blue Heron

Frogs in the City – 2 New Studies

Frog on the Edge

American Bullfrog

They’re here alright.  You can hear them calling during the day and at night.  Bullfrogs, Leopard and Green frogs. And in among the cicada’s, the wonderful nighttime sound of tree frogs.  Our neighborhood has them all.  It’s no surprise that they depend on safe clean water year round for survival and breeding.  Our neighborhood has that too in creeks and small backyard ponds.

Gray Treefrog

Gray Treefrog – most likely Cope’s Gray

Science Daily is a clipping service that pulls together interesting science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations.  There have been two recently about urban frogs that caught our eye.

The first, If you build it they will come: Frogs flourish in humanmade ponds comes from the University of Florida.  The article is not so much about backyard ponds as storm water ponds in cities.  Good information in a concise form that might help inform our thinking on intown development that affects wildlife.

The second article however does talk about our yards and the issue of safe clean water. Estrogen, shrubbery, and the sex ratio of suburban frogs. To quote the article “A new Yale study shows that estrogen in suburban yards is changing the ratio of male and female green frogs at nearby ponds. Higher levels of estrogen in areas where there are shrubs, vegetable gardens, and manicured lawns are disrupting frogs’ endocrine systems, according to the study.” This information is stunning.

Happily, as gardeners we can do our part to help out the frogs (and other critters, including ourselves) by eliminating chemicals and lawn services that apply chemicals.  Those little signs that warn you to keep babies, pets and wildlife away can’t be read by babies, pets or wildlife.

Surviving Cold Weather

We’ve had unusually cold weather this week with temperatures in the teens at night and below freezing for several days.  Food, water and shelter become very important.

Ice on Pond

The pond is almost iced over. The waterfall keeps an opening clear for oxygen.

Heated Bird Bath

This heater keeps the water in the birdbath from freezing.

Brown Headed Nuthatch

Brown-headed Nuthatches taking a drink.

Bird Feeders

Northern Cardinals at the back yard feeders.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet on the front yard suet feeder.