A photographer built his own wildlife pond with an adjacent photo hide so he could capture beautiful photos of flora and fauna.
Stefano Ianiro began building his DIY pond at the start of 2022. He released the above video which tells the story of how transformed a patch of land into a nature photographer’s paradise.
“Eight months ago I built this wildlife pond to attract and to help out some of the local wildlife,” he explains in the video above.
After seeing the tangible benefits of a small pond he’s built previously, Ianiro set about creating a much larger one.
He dug out a four-foot deep pond and installed a liner. Ianiro built himself an adjoining “in-ground observation blind” using pallets to construct the relatively spacious photo lookout.
“I added some perches, brush piles, nest boxes, and dead-standing logs for birds and insects to use,” he says.
“I even built this small floating structure with a bunch of willow cutting in it to help absorb nutrients and clean the water.”
As spring sprung, Ianiro’s pond burst into life with insects, birds, and flowers. A pair of swallows even made their nest in one of his bird boxes equipped with a nest cam.
Despite the swallows’ nest being raided by a squirrel, Ianiro was happy that his little nirvana was shaping up nicely.
“The more time I spent around the pond, the more this ecosystem seemed to become the healthy one I had envisioned,” he says.
More and more plant life appeared as the warmer weather, mixed with some rain, sent even more life to Ianiro’s photo pond.
Ianorio made a dust bath for birds to help them maintain good feather quality and minimize lice or feather mites.
In fact, the bird population began to boom with the pair of swallows, previously thwarted by a squirrel, raising healthy fledglings.
Autumn saw more predators move in. Ianiro suspects that raccoons had been hunting small animals in the pond and even filmed a snake swallowing a frog.
But it was another fierce predator that caught Ianiro’s eye the most.
“I kept seeing this kitten hanging around,” he says.
Ianiro and his girlfriend decided to try and adopt the kitten so started by feeding it tuna. After working hard to earn the cat’s trust, they adopted her and brought Sparrow, as she’s now known, into the house.
The wildlife photographer saw out the year capturing migrating birds passing through his property.
Reflecting on his year’s work at the pond, Ianiro says: “It was incredibly rewarding to think about all the species I was able to attract and help throughout the past eight months.
“Whether it was an animal just stopping by for a quick drink or another one completing its entire life cycle at the pond, it just goes to show how a step towards native habitats, whether big or small, can quicky have a positive impact on the local wildlife.”