Birds that visit your pond even in winter? It's possible with de-icing!

De-icing for waterfowl

Wild waterfowl love open water in all seasons. This open water is however more difficult to find in winter because of the ice that covers the water bodies in northern regions like here in Canada. Many clients are looking to leave an opening in the ice during the winter for these birds. There are many reasons why these pond/lakefront owners do this. Here are a few; bird watching, providing an open water refuge against predator for waterfowl, oxygenating the water body during the winter for fish and/or extending the waterfowl hunting season. Whatever the reason, keeping and maintaining open water areas is primary during the winter!

Keeping and maintaining open water areas is primary during the winter!

In fact, these types of birds are migration species and seek areas of open water to feed. Therefore, when birds see an icy area, they continue on their way until they find a place to land. This is why goose and duck hunters use de-icers to extend their waterfowl hunting season into the fall, but also to encourage them to spend the winter here.

An area for them to retreat to is welcomed in the winter so birds can feed. If you are looking to attract waterfowl to your pond or lake in the winter, you will need to maintain an opening in the ice for them. Open water also means better habitat for waterfowl and less predation, therefore better safety for them, especially at night.

The use of products such as Kasco Marine de-icers or Thawline de-icing systems are specially designed to create an opening in the ice during the winter season. These systems protect dock installations, but also to allow the waterfowl to feed. In the following animation videos, you will see the different methods of de-icing and the different effects produced during the winter depending on the ambient temperature and the system chosen.


In conclusion, keeping an opening in the ice in winter is a wise idea if you wish to allow waterfowl to overwinter or attract these waterfowl for hunting. De-icing will give you interesting results in addition to being able to admire the shimmering reflection of the sky on the water which we miss so much during the winter months.

Deicing systems creates an opening in the ice, in addition to thinning the ice a certain radius around the opening. Therefore, special care should be taken to notify people around water points. The use of a “Danger! Thin Ice” sign is essential for the safety of walkers and snowmobilers during the winter months, when the system is in use.


Related Articles :