In Grapevine, we are blessed with many water-ways, open spaces, and of course the lake! This means we have an abundance of wild neighbors inhabiting our neighborhoods and sharing our spaces. And because springtime is upon us, we are going to talk about ducks and how they fit it.
Every spring we receive plenty of calls that all seem to go the same: a few weeks ago, two ducks moved into the backyard. Now they have hatched their ducklings and everyone is swimming in the pool! Can you come remove them? The answer is no. Ducks are protected federally by the Migratory Bird Act and once they have settled in and eggs are laid, they will have to stay undisturbed until they leave on their own. However, things are not hopeless if you act when the ducks move in, before they’ve nested.
If you notice a male and female duck move into your yard you have a few options. Some people enjoy watching the whole process and the family grow. In that case, take plenty of photos from a distance and share with us! If you would prefer your swimming pool and yard not to house the impending ducklings, or if there might be an environment that is unsafe for them (such as a dog or cat that may cause harm), follow these tips:
- Ducks are looking for a quiet, oasis. If you are frequently using your backyard they will be less likely to stay
- Play music
- For your pool:
- Float beach balls (it makes the pool look occupied and like their may be a predator)
- Purchase "scare eye" balloons from a wild bird store to float
- Cover the pool when not in use or out of town
If you were unable to dissuade the ducks from staying and they have now hatched ducklings, check out DFW Wildlife Coalition’s Help Sheet for more details on how long to expect your "squatters".