Whenever I see ducks in my near vicinity I get this instant urge to feed them and talk to them in baby language! Ducks are aquatic animals and can be found in almost any city park where there is a pond, or also in both fresh water and sea water.
They are very endearing animals and tame. Thriving in city spaces, they live side by side with humans and have fostered a healthy relationship with us.
[H/T: The Spruce]
Source:Flickr / Elliot Brown
Psychologist Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire, UK together with LaughLab made a year-long experiment back in 2002 in search of the funniest animals. Turns out, the funniest animal is, according to his research, the duck!
So, I am drawn to ducks.
I also tend to share my bagel with them. This is where we come to our plot twist and topic of the day: How Ducks React To Bread.
Lo and behold, bread is as bad for ducks as it is for people. It tops the no-go ducky diet list.
Essentially, bread is just highly processed carbohydrates and it doesn’t hold much nutritional value.
If you live in a big capital with a high traffic city park, chances are ducks that live there will eat bread exclusively. There will be tons of people a day who will de-facto bring or share carbohydrates with our feather friends and this puts the brakes on the duck’s forage for food.
This is the equivalent of the couch potato person. They will stop their search for food, lay back and enjoy their food.
This makes them vulnerable to malnutrition, obesity and illness.
What ducks would normally eat in the wild is a balanced diet of meat and veggies. Small fish, fish eggs, snails, worms and mollusks, grass, weeds and algae are many of the items which can be found on their menu.
Needless to say, bread doesn’t feature on the healthy list.
To put it in perspective, your feeding bread to ducks does them harm on two fronts: proper nutrition and the foraging instinct.
Leftover bread is also a threat to the environment in many ways. It invites pests such as rats.
Leftover bread will turn into moldy bread and many animals are in danger of food poisoning.
Thankfully, many parks are raising awareness of these issues and are getting more and more conscious when it comes to informing the visitors of the downsides of feeding bread to ducks in public spaces.
Do not despair! There are a lot of healthy substitutes for bread.
You can feed them cracked corn, barley, rice, grapes, peas or even chopped lettuce or veggie trimmings and they’ll love it!
So remember to bring these goodies on your next visit to a pond near you!