Parks & Trails
For more information contact Parks & Recreation at 972-731-3296.
We know everyone loves to see ducks, geese, and other waterfowl at our beach and neighborhood ponds, and many people love to feed these animals. But, feeding ducks, geese, and other wild animals can cause problems for the animals and also for the environment. Here is some critical information about why feeding ducks, geese, and other waterfowl can cause complications.
In the wild, these animals search out and feed on a variety of foods such as aquatic plants, natural grains, and small invertebrates. The feeding habits of these animals is critical for the environment in which they live and helps to maintain a healthy habitat for them and other creatures.
When humans hand-feed these animals it can cause this delicate balance to be disrupted. It can also contribute to malnutrition.
The foods most commonly used to feed ducks, geese, and other waterfowl are low in protein and are very poor substitutes for natural foods.
Signs of malnourishment in these animals include:
• Low energy and muscle deterioration.
• Development of deformed wings in young birds.
• Inability to fly
• Loss of flight later in life.
• Lowered ability to avoid predators.
• A decrease in successful reproduction.
• Lowered life expectancy.
Additionally, hand feeding ducks and geese can contribute to disease in these animals. This happens when ducks or geese feed on scattered corn or bread, eating in the same place where they defecate. This creates a situation that is which is not healthy for the birds or the community, contributing to the development and spread of diseases such as Duck Virus Enteritis, Avian Influenza, and Avian Botulism.
You may be tempted to feed ducks or other waterfowl at your local neighborhood pond, but this can create a nuisance situation in which the birds beg for or steal food, and upset the ecosystem, causing:
• Overgrazing of vegetation leading to soil erosion.
• Degradation of the landscape which can affect other species.
• Unsanitary conditions due to large quantities of bird feces.