Help! Many dead birds in my pond!


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I have a very small preformed garden pond (about 90 gallons) with a small waterfall/fountain. No fish or any plantlife in the water. I do have some perennial hostas planted up around the waterfall area. The pond is surrounded by slate rock.
I am almost ready to throw in the towel on this pond after 5 years and heres why......
I am getting several dead birds a day in my pond! I have no idea how this is happening and this is not the first season this has happened. Last year was the same, just not to this extent. I have had aprrox. 6-7 dead birds in the last week that I have taken out of my little pond. There are no windows around this area of my yard so thats not it, and they are all different types of birds.
Does anyone have any suggestions before i just fill the whole pond in with dirt and call it quits? This is no fun and is certainly not beautiful to look at! And I dont want to kill all of these birds that I love to watch......
 
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No, there are no toxins in the water. I have just cleaned and filled my pond for the first time in the last 2 weeks and have not put anything in the water yet because of this bird problem which started right away. I usually like to use some aquatic plants. I only used water from the tap and elbow grease to clean with and there is no spraying of fertilizers or pesticides around my property.
 
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Do you think it might be the pump?

The reason I ask this is that I had a very small cement fountain in the corner of my yard that use to have this same problem (though not to the extent that you're talking about). I never found out what caused it, but as soon as I took out the pump (which was small and did little good towards creating any movement in the water anyway) the dead birds stopped appearing. It might be something like that? I don't know, I just read you post and immediately thought of the few dead birds that I found occasionally in that fountain prior to removing the pump.
 
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DrCase

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That is realy strange,can you give us a pic of the small pond to look at ?
 

DrDave

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Your pond is toxic and the birds are drinking from it. Why do you have water in a pond that has no purpose?
 
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I have a 90 gallon preformed that I have plants in, in between my two larger ponds. I had the same problem until I built the other two. The only thing we could figure out is the birds are trying to get water and can not get a good grip with the way it is done.Since the two larger ponds were added we have not had a problem. Try a piece of driftwood in it that kinda lays sideways so they can get a good grip as well as get water.They love to bath as well but not sure what to fix in there to allow them to do that.
 
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While on the subjects of birds in the pond. I get nervous ever time I see a bird in my waterfall stream bathing. All I can think of is the bad things coming off the bird and into my pond (ie. parasites!!!) Do you think birds can bring parasites, bad bacteria or fungus to a pond?
 
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What kind of birds are dying in ponds out there? I just watch a bunch of starlings gather around the one good bathing spot in my little 55 gal. pond and push the smallest one right in. Good thing I was watching because I was able to rush over and fish him out - poor little thing! My solution, after watching the little guy struggle, is to make sure that there is an easy exit rout on both sides of the pond. With the pond being so small, I didn't think that was necessary, but I guess that when there is an aggressor guarding at the ladder out of the pool, it may seem like there's no way out. We have an ugly stick there for the time being, but I plan on finding something more permanent.
 
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sissy

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could the pump be bad and electrocuting them .It does not take much of a shock .you may not even feel it
 

addy1

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The original post is from 2009 , they may not even be around any more.
 
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Resurrecting this thread again. Yesterday I found a dead bird in my new, small (~400 gallons) pond... today I witnessed another bird looking at my waterfall from the ground. It then proceeded to fly almost directly into it and the force of the water sent him right into the water below. I immediately ran outside and grabbed my net. He was struggling to get out and almost certainly would have died there. I wonder if this isn't possibly a significant explanation for birds dying in ponds. What the heck precautions can be taken to keep this from happening?Do I need to extend a net across where the water fall drops into the water?? As I type this, it's been 15 minutes and the poor little thing is still sitting on the ground... clearly alert, but hopefully not injured.. maybe a bit in shock.
 
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I guess I see from Suni00 7 years ago, they were seeing same issue (birds falling in water). Although based on the stress I've seen from a bird struggling in the water, I question whether they could find a stick to get out. I fear the only 100% safe method may be to put a net across the pond, under the water fall... which would really kill the aesthetics. But I hate the thought of more birds dying in my pond (which I added in some respects, to help them!).

Edit: @Suni00 ... and what a small world, I'm in the Omaha metro too. Do we have dumb birds here??

Edit: Little bird finally flew off, but only after I chased around the pond, trying to dissuade him from seemingly wanting to fly into it again.
 

Mmathis

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@stargazer What kind of birds are they? We have a lot of fledgling birds this time of year — mostly, they’re learning how to be birds, and there is a lot of exploring going on. I think they are more secure around water if there is something close to the surface. It helps their depth perception.
 
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Resurrecting this thread again. Yesterday I found a dead bird in my new, small (~400 gallons) pond... today I witnessed another bird looking at my waterfall from the ground. It then proceeded to fly almost directly into it and the force of the water sent him right into the water below. I immediately ran outside and grabbed my net. He was struggling to get out and almost certainly would have died there. I wonder if this isn't possibly a significant explanation for birds dying in ponds. What the heck precautions can be taken to keep this from happening?Do I need to extend a net across where the water fall drops into the water?? As I type this, it's been 15 minutes and the poor little thing is still sitting on the ground... clearly alert, but hopefully not injured.. maybe a bit in shock.
Do you think we could get a picture of your set up?

I have found dead birds in my pond as well, but not at the rate you're describing. I've found some baby birds that fell out of a nest nearby and drowned. I have found a grown pigeon sitting in the waterfall dying (not drowning, just dying). My assumption with the adults is that the water attracts sick/injured birds, but their diseases/injuries end up getting the better of them and they die while attempting to recover.

Maybe if we see a picture of your set up, we can compare it with ponds that don't have this dead bird problem and come up with some ideas?
 
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Having been a bird keeper, and rescuer of many bird's, I'll put my two cents in. Birds love water. A Frog Log or other suitable alternative exit should be set up in ponds for any small critters to escape when they fall in, there are options set up for pools that can be used in ponds. Having a birdbath area just a few inches deep with plenty of nearby perches and easy exit may help. And yes, bird's can transmit parasites, but the threat ( except from ducks and geese) is minimal. Water bird's migrating have a higher risk of picking up a parasite and passing it on by pooing in your pond. There are few option but netting to keep them out of the pond.
 
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One idea is to use a voltage meter to see if you’ve got current flowing in the water.
 
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I have no answers cuz I found 12 YES 12 of the same kind and bout same size birds dead in pond today and they were not there 5 days ago.
We just moved here 4 months ago pond has NOT been used or cleaned w chemicals just sweep out past seasons debrey. I believe these birds do have few nest in the gutter of my car port with lil ones in them I can see them they are big enough to start learning to fly ( cuz they are) the pond sits about 8 ft away from where the nest are. We DON'T have a cat or any neighbors with beebee guns and our yard in fenced all around.
Any opinions you all have n can share on cause of 12 birds dead in the pond would be appreciated instead the one going through mine since I found them , that they all just fell from the sky like some kind of Omen or Curse. Cuz it's what it looks like.
Thanks!
Tracy...
 

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