A few years ago I delivered a skiff to a medium sized pond in the Midlands. The owner proudly pointed out the family of Coots that had just taken up residence on his pond. Like many of the ponds and lakes I see, this one had been artificially created, and was only a year old, so I was particularly impressed that he had managed to attract these beautiful (and amusingly silly) birds to his pond.|
Provide Plenty of cover for birds and other wildlife at the waters edge, and in the shallows. This cover can be natural or artificial, the animals wont mind!
Dont use your pond and lake for fishing, especially not with maggots for bait, Coots love maggots more than the fish do, so fishing is a no with Coots around.
Coots can have a varied diet, but their staple food is what most people would describe as pond weed. On a newly built pond or lake, you may wish to deliberately plant your own choice of pond weed in the shallows, but if you dont the chances are pond weed will come to you. Generally speaking, the native varieties of pond weed are best, they will provide a food source for Coots, as well as oxygenating the water, and sustaining a wide variety of other water life, water soldier and curled pond weed are good choices.
Introducing fish to your lake or pond can be tempting, but bear in mind that most fish will compete with birds such as coots for food such as insects, snails, worms etc.
A small Island in the middle of your pond or lake can provide an ideal nesting site for Coots or Ducks, protecting them from many land based predators. If you are lucky enough to have an Island or a duck house, then one of my skiffs is indispensable for access.