Feeding bread to ducks and waterfowl at local parks and creeks is appealing. Kids love it.
But it is really bad for our water birds to regularly eat a lot of bread, cake, chips.
Bread doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients for birds, it fills them up so they don’t eat enough natural food, and serious metabolic disease can arise if bread and cake is a major part of the diet.
In addition, too much bread in our waterways causes ecological problems, encouraging algal growth and poor water quality.
So if we shouldn’t feed bread and cake, can anything be fed to wild ducks safely?
Provided there are no “DON’T FEED THE DUCKS” signs nearby, you can safely offer small amounts of:
– Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach
– Corn (tinned, frozen or fresh)
– Uncooked rolled oats
– Cooked (not raw) brown rice
– Peas (defrosted or raw)
– Duck pellets (manufactured specifically for domestic waterfowl)
Remember, only offer very small amounts. A lot of people might be feeding the ducks at your local park. We need our wild birds to be eating mostly wild food to keep the birds and environment healthy. And don’t feed them at all if there is signage asking you not to feed the ducks.
If you want to learn more about what you should or shouldn’t feed
wild birds, check out the recently published book:
“Feeding the Birds At Your Table – A Guide For Australia” by Professor Darryl Jones
which provides a sensible, science-based guide to safely feeding wild
birds in Australia.