Please don’t feed the ducks!

As a student, I love it when I learn things that are worth sharing with others. Ducks are lots more fun than algorithms (well – unless you are a geek). When my kids were young we enjoyed buying bread from the local sandwich shop in Lowell, Michigan and wandering down to the river’s edge to feed the ducks and swans. Many people do this and with good intention. It is fun to watch the ducks dive for bits of bread, and to see the little ducklings swim in dutiful lines behind mom and dad. It would seem that feeding ducks is a harmless way to connect with nature. After reading about the pollution problems in North Creek and some of the causes, such as pet waste, car washing, and duck droppings, I now know that feeding ducks can cause problems. I was skeptical about just the droppings because I assumed that this was matter found in nature. This is true however, people feeding wild ducks human food such as bread or even duck food is not natural. Wild ducks eat bugs and grass that is found naturally in wetlands. Ducks Unlimited warns that feeding wild ducks human or even duck food can disrupt their natural migration patterns and put them at risk for abuse by becoming too comfortable around humans and settling in areas that can’t sustain them or cause them to become a nuisance.

For more information Check out:

Ducks Unlimited Conservation FAQs http://www.ducks.org/about-du/frequently-asked-questions/conservation-faqs

U.S. Geological Survey What should I Feed the Ducks and Ducklings on My Lake http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/about/faqs/birds/feeding.htm

 

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