Unexpected Visitors and Uninvited Guests to a Phoenix Pond
Build it and they will come! Everything needs water to survive, and if you have a living backyard pond in Phoenix, you can count on company coming. Some of these will be a delight to the eye; others may not be so welcome. An organic, healthy water source is a boon for local wildlife, as well as migratory birds. But everything in life is a package deal, especially when it comes to backyard landscape ideas.
Predators May be Uninvited Guests to a Phoenix Pond
The possibility of pond predators seeking out your backyard pond is a valid concern in terms of the safety of your pond's inhabitants, but the possibility shouldn't be a reason to avoid having a backyard pond, and a little common sense goes a long way.
First of all, raccoons generally won't swim. That's not to say they couldn't stand on the side of your pond and take a swipe at your fish. Fortunately, most fish will swim to a deeper, more protected part of the pond when a predator is threatening them. We had a raccoon visit with us for a short time. Yep, ate our favorite fish. We simply used a can of tuna and a Have-a-Heart trap and relocated the little guy to a more appropriate area near Lake Pleasant.
The one predator with legitimate credentials to raid your backyard pond is the Blue Heron. These birds can easily wade into your pond, help themselves to any fish of their choice, and fly away with their bellies full. They are a protected species, so don’t get any crazy ideas.
Giving your fish a place to hide in your backyard pond dramatically increases their odds of survival, and/or a motion-sensing sprinkler can be set up alongside your pond ready to fire a steady stream of water at a predator has had some degree of success in warding off these curious critters.
A couple of other 4-legged creatures you might see around your backyard pond are Coyotes and Javalena. These critters are only there to get a drink. They are not interested in you or your fish. This is where common sense comes in handy: if you live in an area where these creatures hang out, take a peek through a window before running out the door.
If you live in an area where rodents are prevalent, you will probably attract some to your backyard pond. They can be real pests, as they tend to dig. Though possible, it’s rare that a rodent will be able to damage a good pond liner. However, with rodents come the predators of rodents. Reptiles are generally a retiring bunch, and don’t want anything more to do with humans than humans want to do with them.
Friendlies May be Unexpected Guests to Your Phoenix Pond
Now that we’ve scared the wits out of you, let’s talk about some terrific beneficial creatures that will be attracted to your organic water feature. We’ll start by talking about bees. Yes, bees are friendlies! They are after the water. These girls are very busy collecting it to take back to the hive. Bees are a “collective,” meaning that they each (as drones) are programmed to do a specific job for the “collective,” and no more. The only way they sting is in confusion or self-defense.
Birds are probably the prominent creatures that you will notice around your backyard pond. Want to see Orioles, Cardinals, Warblers, Cactus Wren, etc., right outside your living room window? A pond gives them a healthy, organic water source, whether they’re there to stay, or just making a pit stop along the way to their destination, making this backyard landscape idea a favorite of bird lovers.
Frogs, toads, dragonflies, and damselflies are other awesome critters that are attracted to backyard ponds. Not only are they great fun to observe, but they provide the best possible integrated pest management you can imagine!
Other cute critters you might spy around your pond would be families of quail, bunnies, and lizards. Whether they’re pets or friendlies is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder.
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Barbi Holdeman, co-owner of The Pond Gnome, enjoys sharing their 20+ years of education & experience with you! She writes about Phoenix Ecosystem Pond Installation, Pond Maintenance, Wildlife around the Pond, Koi and Goldfish in the Pond, and the Pond Lifestyle. If you enjoy what she writes, please share it!