Bad idea: feeding bread to ducks and other birds

Just because a lot of people do it, doesn't mean it's good for birds.

When I was younger, we used to take bread to the pond to feed the ducks. Seemed like a nice thing to do and a way to interact with wildlife. However, feeding wild animals food meant for people can have many detrimental effects. The ducks in this photo from Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda have "angel wing", which may have been caused by consumption of bread left by human visitors:

Look closely at the two darker ducks in this picture, and you might notice their wings sticking up a bit strangely. This condition is called "angel wing" and prevents them from being able to fly. The sad truth is that this condition may be caused by eating bread left by well-meaning park visitors.

While kids can get away with eating junk food once in a while, young birds can’t. Birds grow much faster than humans. What they eat is very important to their proper growth and without proper nutrition, problems occur, like "angel wing."

Help protect waterfowl by letting them find their own food at the pond, and never feeding them food from home!

Photo and information courtesy of Crab Cove Visitor Center, East Bay Regional Parks District

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