Photos by BarrytheBirder
Above are two photos which I took at Lake Wilcox Park, in Richmond Hill, north of Toronto, last year. It has been a popular spot for decades to feed waterfowl, most of which are Mallards, with the odd hybrid duck in the mix, and the occasional Canada Goose or other duck species. The feed runs the gamut from the ubiquitous chunks of stale bread to popcorn to sunflower and other seeds, plus God knows what else. Word has come from Britain that feeding bread, in particular, to ducks is completely wrong. So says The Canal and River Trust which is launching a campaign this spring to urge people to feed ducks with frozen peas, or sweetcorn, instead. Ducks are, it seems, also partial to grapes, especially if cut into quarters for easier swallowing. Apparently, people in England and Wales feed an estimated six million loaves of bread each year to ducks, which is not only bad for the ducks' health, but pollutes waterways. As a result, ducklings are malnourished, while adults ducks become aggressive and lose their natural fear of humans. The Canal and River Trust warns that bread is basically 'junk food". the trust also advises that oats, barley, rice and vegetable trimmings are also acceptable replacements for bread.
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