I saw father feeding ducks yesterday in the pond with white bread. He was with a small girl and was letting her feed ducks too. Ducks loved it. Girl enjoyed it. Matthew was doing happy dance. I was about to say something, but I did not.
Feeding wildlife in our ponds is not prohibited. Feeding waterfowl with our food destroys their health and creates serious health risks to humans.
It is so easy to see when ducks in our ponds are fed. Every time we arrived at the pond, ducks would come up close. Many ducks in Aurora are fed. How do you think I get these nice close ups. They come up to me all the time but I never
have anything to offer, just a photograph. They leave.
The scary part is that father, nor the ducks know that such fun and joyful feeding is harmful to everyone. May be it is time to let everyone know.
We definitely are not short on warning signs here in Aurora, so what will one more do. But if we do not want one more sign, may be it is time to reconsider new sign design. For example, like the ones on the highway directing drivers to the gas station, but also telling them that there are other services such as food court and restrooms. A sign that tells ALL. Just an idea if anyone is reading.
Duck Heading For Food
Educating public is everything. So I did little research. This may shade some light.
Please do not feed ducks, and this is why? Just a simple list here for now.
Bread or any junk food makes ducks sluggish, unable to fly or escape predators. Also affects migration.
Bread or any junk food makes them eat our food which is less in nutrients. Ducks become malnutritioned.
Bread or any junk food will make them stay where they are fed. The pond may become overcrowded and thus the increased territorial aggression.
Once slice of bread from you does not seem a lot. But once slice of bread from 20 of you is a loaf of bread.
Excess food thrown pollutes water in the pond or stream. Especially in the pond because water stays in one place, not like in the stream where water constantly flows.
Excess junk food attracts rats, pests and predators that kill ducks.
Disease/Parasite Alert. Uneaten and rotting food pollutes the water and breeds deadly diseases and parasites such as Duck Virus Enteritis (caused by artificial feeding) that kills all of the ducks.
Mold Alert. Uneaten and rotting food forms a deadly mold called Aspergillus; fatal to ducks if diagnosed too late.
Disease Alert. Avian Botulism (caused by artificial feeding) can kill entire waterfowl populations and also hospitalize people.
Parasite Alert. Artificially fed ducks emit a parasite causing a condition in humans called Swimmer’s Itch.
Ducks that are over-fed create dangerous amounts of waste that can harm fish and other animals living in ponds thus affecting the complete food chain.
Do not feed anything. You may think corn may be okay. Well, when feeding ducks others may join – like fish, and fish cannot digest corn and die. Note that some bird seeds cause severe cramping pain in ducks.
Mallard, Do Not Feed This Duck.
Lastly here is something to think about if you toss any other object, a coin or garbage.
It does not have to be food to kill a duck. A duck will eat anything
tossed in the water. Coins thrown into the pond can be ingested by ducks causing serious health hazard. Zinc contained in the single penny will kill a duck. Duck will ingest anything by scouring the bottom of the pond such as coins and fishing tackle. Foreign objects or let say garbage that sometimes mysteriously appears in the water, again can be ingested by ducks. Anything that is not food cannot be digested properly. As the metals breaks down, toxins form and enter the bloodstream, muscle tissue and bones. Duck is poisoned and dies.
Mallard, Do Not Feed Even When They Look At You
That is my message for today, so think twice before you feed wildlife.
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