Taking your kids to see ducks or other wild birds? Leave the bread at home

duck pond

The seemingly innocent act of feeding ducks and other wild birds with bread is harming waterfowl and polluting waterways, Experts warned as they urged people to use more benign alternatives.

Uneaten bread causes algal blooms, allows bacteria to breed and attracts rats and other vermin.

Apart from affecting water quality, experts say the duck feeders may be unwittingly damaging the health of the birds.

Large amounts of bread and other human foodstuffs can be harmful to wildfowl, leading to potentially fatal or disabling health conditions. Uneaten food can also cause changes to the chemical and bacteriological content of water, increasing the risk of avian disease.

Making large quantities of bread easily available stops ducks from eating a natural, balanced diet.

White bread in particular has no real nutritional value, so while birds may find it tasty, the danger is that they will fill up on it instead of other foods that could be more beneficial to them. There’s also a risk that ducks and other water fowl could get an illness known as angel wing, which is caused by not getting the right nutrients in their diet. The illness causes a deformity in birds’ wings that can hamper the way they fly or even stop them altogether, which could obviously be fatal.

The aim is not to discourage people from interacting with wildlife, but to do it in a way that recognized their particular needs.

Feed the ducks and other wild birds sensibly so your children and future generations can enjoy it too. Bread’s not great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet so don’t overfeed them with large quantities of it.

Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas. And exercise portion control,Feeding regularly in particular places makes ducks habitually reliant on food from humans and leads to an accumulation of duck feces in the water, on paths and bridges.

Don’t follow the crowds, spread the love, and visit a new family of ducks to prevent large quantities of the starchy duck ‘junk food’ from clogging up the same places and potentially damaging the environment.

Safe feed for ducks and wild birds:

Cracked corn

Wheat, barley or similar grains

Oats

Rice (cooked or uncooked)

Birdseed (any type or mix)

Grapes (cut in half)

Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)

Earthworms

Mealworms

Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes

Chopped vegetable trimmings or peels

Duck pellets

 

Not safe for ducks and wild birds:

Bread

Chips

Crackers and biscuits

Popcorn

Sugary food – sweets, chocolate

 

Original source the Guardian UK
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23 thoughts on “Taking your kids to see ducks or other wild birds? Leave the bread at home

  1. They love cat food, it’s good for them and lots of people have it on hand all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. …and I spent half my childhood at the Sequoia Park duck pond feeding our stale bread to the ducks.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Feeding white bread to ducks brings back memories. I think I’ll try peas next time.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s the geese at those community ponds you gotta watch out for. Don’t give them their due and they’ll go for your gonads

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Don’t feed the ducks bread, say conservationists” March 16, 2015 by Karl Mathiesen in London’s Gaurdian.

    The seemingly innocent act of feeding ducks with bread is harming waterfowl and polluting waterways, conservationists warned on Monday as they urged people to use more benign alternatives.

    A survey by the Canal and River Trust found nearly a quarter of English and Welsh people had together fed six million loaves of bread to ducks last year. Uneaten bread causes algal blooms, allows bacteria to breed and attracts rats and other vermin.

    Apart from affecting water quality, the trust and other agencies said the duck feeders may be unwittingly damaging the health of the birds.

    A spokesperson for the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency said: “Large amounts of bread and other human foodstuffs can be harmful to wildfowl, leading to potentially fatal or disabling health conditions. Uneaten food can also cause changes to the chemical and bacteriological content of water, increasing the risk of avian disease.”

    A spokeswoman for the RSPB said making large quantities of bread easily available stops ducks from eating a natural, balanced diet.

    “White bread in particular has no real nutritional value, so while birds may find it tasty, the danger is that they will fill up on it instead of other foods that could be more beneficial to them,” she said.

    “There’s also a risk that ducks and other water fowl could get an illness known as angel wing, which is caused by not getting the right nutrients in their diet. The illness causes a deformity in birds’ wings that can hamper the way they fly or even stop them altogether, which could obviously be fatal.”

    Peter Birch, national environment manager for the Canal and River Trust, said the aim was not to discourage people from interacting with wildlife, but to do it in a way that recognised their particular needs.

    “Please come and feed the ducks but do it sensibly so your children and future generations can enjoy it too. The charity is asking the public to make a few simple changes. Bread’s not great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet so don’t overfeed them with large quantities of it.

    “Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas. And exercise portion control,” he said.

    Birch also said that feeding regularly in particular places makes ducks habitually reliant on food from humans and leads to an accumulation of duck faeces in the water, on paths and bridges.

    “Don’t follow the crowds, spread the love, and visit a new family of ducks to prevent large quantities of the starchy duck ‘junk food’ from clogging up the same places and potentially damaging the environment.”

    Peter Rawson, a resident of Stalybridge in Manchester, said his local waterway had become plagued by Canada geese, despite there being few places for them to graze naturally.

    “They are only in Stalybridge because there is a ready, and seemingly endless, supply of bread provided by some of the locals and the output from all this consumption can be seen all over the towpath,” he said.

    Sfd (Safe for ducks)
    Cracked corn
    Wheat, barley or similar grains
    Oats
    Rice (cooked or uncooked)
    Birdseed (any type or mix)
    Grapes (cut in half)
    Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
    Earthworms
    Mealworms
    Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
    Chopped vegetable trimmings or peels
    Duck pellets
    Nsfd (Not safe for ducks)
    Bread
    Chips
    Crackers and biscuits
    Popcorn
    Sugary food – sweets, chocolate

    **********************************************

    Here are the problems with this.

    a) in a nutshell it’s plagiarism. I’m not a lawyer, I would not understand where extracting quotes from a piece, clearly defined and sourced ends and where plagiarism ends. But not only is this not attributed, but the piece was edited to remove portions that any casual reader could use to understand the piece isn’t yours.

    b) I think the portions missing add flavor, context and interest to the piece not the opposite. How cool of a name is Stalybridge btw?

    c) I also think the missing pieces help put together the piece in a way that makes the article more readable. It’s a problem I have reading the TE many of the articles seem like this I’ve just never been able to pin point this before. This problem is not one when you are obviously writing yourself.

    Why is this important?

    a) Credibility – which I want you to have b/c we do agree much more than disagree

    b) Readability – see credibility

    Someone put time and effort into creating this piece and another group of people paid for their time – given that it’s the Guardian, I’m pretty sure the reporter is getting a living wage.

    Again, how do we reproduce this here I don’t know. I wanted to reprint the entire article from the Chronicle a couple of weeks back that I could not find on the web. I cut and pasted probably too many paragraphs and commented not enough so what I did may be plagiarism too? I don’t know. Again not a lawyer.

    What I do know is this type of blog journal sans sourcing, sans interesting narrative points like who is doing the talking, seems to me to cross the line.

    What Dan Johnson did was wrong and I think this is wrong too. Just my opinion though. And it’s an opinion of one who appreciates what you do and wants you to succeed.

    Like

    • Jon we told you who we stole it from at the bottom of the post? “Original source the Guardian UK”

      Liked by 2 people

      • “Stole it from”. EPD may come over and shoot first and ask questions later, in full TE fashion, for that admission!

        Like

    • The posting credits the Guardian, but doesn’t have an exact citation or link to the original. I’d say that’s sloppy but its not plagiarism because it doesn’t claim or imply original authorship. The facts of Dan Johnson’s speech are different. He directly copied a source and gave no attribution at all.

      As to your opinions about what should be included in the post, that’s a discretionary editorial decisions. The TE editors can take your comments into account as they choose to. Of course, you always have authority to edit your own blog as you see fit.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Uhhh. LJ, your blog is filled with other people’s written word, speeches and videos. You cite the sources. The TE put up a post, and cited the source. Not really sure why you put such a long winded comment claiming the TE plagiarized a story, but your completely wrong in your claim.

      On top of that, your complaint might lead some to view you as a complete hypocrite. All the edited My Word pieces on your blog ring a bell? Not trying to offend you LJ, but that’s how your comment comes across.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I didn’t see the source at the bottom. Not sure how I missed it. I do think that having taken the time to read and compare the original to the version you posted a great deal is lost in cut-and-paste translation.

        JP you are right. Much if not all of what I do here is use other people’s work and as I’ve addressed before I think about and try hard to delineate my thoughts from others.

        WP doesn’t give me all the options I’d like – for example to change the background as Kos does.

        At some point in the future, it won’t be discretionary editorial decisions. Look at the music industry for example. The only reason they are going to court and we aren’t is the money involved. (imho)

        What is going to happen is more of what we have been seeing. One can’t cut and paste from a Google book for example. It’s becoming the exception, not the rule for a video to be available to be posted in a blog.

        In the future this will all be moot as the technology is managed to protect digital rights is baked into the electronic gadgets we buy.

        Anyway, lesson learned. TE links at the very bottom of the post, no indenting or punctuation necessary, adjustments such as cutting may be made from the original and not be mentioned.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for responding to my comment LJ.

        I’m sure the TE appreciates your heartfelt retraction and apology for comparing them with Dan Johnson.* As for the rest, I guess you prefer your style of cutting and pasting as opposed to the TE’s style. Awful lot of words to make that point, but that’s your style and more power to you.

        *Sarcasm

        Liked by 2 people

    • TE is NEVER interested in “Honest Journalism”; you should know that by now!

      Like

  6. JP – I hope you get this b/c the reply string has ended above.

    I have written this a hundred times and I will a hundred more. This is important. We are involved in discussions about good people who disagree on politics and religion.

    Dan Johnson, as far as I’m concerned is another good person who I disagree on politics. I’ll allow him to be the judge of good and evil if he wants to be, so my apology was not meant to disassociate TE from DJ because I was associating their behavior.

    And looks look again at that behavior. First of all, I don’t think there is proof that DJ used the text verbatim. (ironically, the Arcata Eye post I’m trying to quote does not allow me to cut and paste)* So to NAN’s comparison ” He directly copied a source and gave no attribution at all.” he seems to be half right.

    But, thing is, I swear I was not consciously trying to miss this attribution. I think if linked as it is now I would not have missed it due to it’s different color – also please not that the paragraph above was a list that the link probably blended into nicely. Having said that, the attribution was there, mea-culpa.

    But to this NAN “I’d say that’s sloppy “. But is it? I don’t think so. Check out the sections I left in bold (which btw was from the Guardian – please see link in the original post above 🙂 ). That was not sloppy, that was precision cutting of important material for what reason exactly????? It could be the following

    a) To make this interesting to HumCo readers as we are thrown off by those foreign sounding names such as “Animal and Plant Health Agency”. Wait. How cool is that by the way? Imagine for a brief second that Supervisor Lovelace proposed HumCo should reorganize a “Animal and Plant Health Agency”. (But that is style – sorry JP)

    b) To maximize the chance that credit is given to them by ADD readers like myself and minimize the chance credit is given to the actual writer. (Karl Mathiesen)

    I hope b isn’t true, I would bet it isn’t, at least consciously, but I can’t think of any other reason. It’s not like a whole lot of work wasn’t already done to extract extraneous information that might make this article pertain to another area? I really don’t get that. How much more work is it to place at the top of the article “From the Guardian…” Then somehow allow the reader to be able to distinguish TE writings from sourced material (italics, parentheses, other WP functions I’m not familiar with)

    And so, I do think it’s more than just style JP, it is also about attribution or perhaps style of attribution. I think this article, which has much improved by linking the piece is still over the line and approaching Dan Johnson, or Marian Brady’s Brady Bunch signs.

    Not trying to be a buzzkill here. Am trying to make it so that when the Dan Johnsons or Marian Bradys do misstep, we can call them on it with a clear record ourselves.

    This isn’t about being referees of good and evil as Dan Johnson might say. It is about ethics and I’m trying to impart one I’ve learned through the years is important – at least to me. And yes, I’m happy to be proven wrong on this as I am definitely no professional.

    http://www.arcataeye.com/2013/06/that-wasnt-so-special-dan/

    Funny story. I mention Marion b/c I brought her Brady Bunch signs, which bothered me to no end as I was a cab driver in 2008 and saw those trademark or copyright infringing signs over and over. When I walked by her booth at the July 4th celebrations in Eureka she made a point to tell me how upset she was at my accusations and that she had contacted whomever by email and had approval to use those signs. I told her to please forward these to me and I would apologize over and over for my horrible accusations. She never got back to me.

    Like

    • ” I think this article, which has much improved by linking the piece is still over the line and approaching Dan Johnson, or Marian Brady’s Brady Bunch signs.”

      I saw the attribution the first time I read the post LJ. That was well before your first comment. You are wrong with your accusation. The TE didn’t change it. At the top might have been easier for you to see. On the bottom might have been easier for others, who don’t really like to read the stories all the way through and just go to the end for the conclusion. Style issues LJ, not a conspiracy to steal others work.

      Like

      • Was it blue – was it hyperlinked or is that an edit? b/c I think I would have caught that.

        Not a conspiracy to steal, but not fair to the authors. That’s not a legal opinion but my own personal ethical one.

        And, no with all the work to cut out any mention of another area, or those quoted. Cuts that actually make the article more difficult to understand and (this is style – less interesting imho), it’s not simply about style – it’s on a path, to DJ plagiarism. Not there, it’s on me for missing the attribution, but on the path.

        My opinion, yours varies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Is the war hawk and police apologist (remember LJs comments about Tommy McClain) this guy?

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Humphrey

        Nope. Just Huberts reincarnation here in Humboldt. Thanks for keeping the Torch on establishment Democrats burning since 1968. You and Virginia are really more in agreement than disagreement, as you used to say.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think LJ sounds just like “liberal” Eric Kirk

        Like

  7. Eric, HR is obviously upset. He didn’t mean it. Don’t take the comparison too seriously.

    Like

  8. I love that comment hypocrite.

    That is what this is all about imho, the Democratic schism.

    It happened 2 decades earlier too. How did that schism work out for us?

    Let’s build a liberal plan that can reach the America FDR did so we don’t lose Democrats to supply side economic tales.

    Whatever it is the left did in ’68 to ’08 isn’t working. It resulted in wins by DLC Democrats. Let’s try something else, or do you want to continue what hasn’t been working?

    Recommended reading – Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland and Invisible Bridge. And ask VB how much we agree. You missed my point – my point was this is about policy – not personalities. VB is a super nice person which is why she is very tough to beat in blue Eureka. That and her brandishing her new “D”.

    Like

  9. LJ wrote-

    “You missed my point – my point was this is about policy – not personalities. VB is a super nice person which is why she is very tough to beat in blue Eureka. That and her brandishing her new “D”.”

    Point taken.

    Liked by 1 person

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