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BirdsLitter and wasteRanger Rants

Enough with feeding the ducks.

Matthew Chatfield
Latest posts by Matthew Chatfield (see all)
Bread in Langstone Millpond
Bread in Langstone Millpond

Look, we have to talk about this feeding the birds lark. I know the RSPB tell you to do it, and the WWT make it a tourist attraction in itself.  But neither of them would have any truck with feeding white bread to ducks. 

Just look at what I saw today at the peaceful nature reserve of Langstone Millpond.  So much bread that the ducks (and in this case a coot) are just ignoring it. It will rot, adding nutrients to the water and damaging the habitat.  The notion that waterfowl cannot survive without human intervention is false. Ducks and geese have survived for thousands of years without handouts and today many species of waterfowl are thriving. These birds didn’t need any extra food in the first place, so the whole thing is just silly and unnecessary.

To help wildlife, really it’s best to feed wild birds in moderation if at all. That’s a point that many would debate, but I don’t think anyone – except, presumably, the twit who put it there –  would argue that the Langstone Millpond birds will benefit from all that bread.

So please, give it a rest with the sliced white bread. If you must feed them, give them proper bird food. And ideally, just enjoy watching them behaving like wild birds.

Is Feeding Ducks Bread Bad?  (Spoiler: it’s bad)

‘Bloated’ ducks in danger after over-indulging on white bread (Telegraph)

Please don’t feed waterfowl (Audubon Society)

Charity warns not to feed bread to ducks and geese as birds are becoming ‘hooked’ on starchy foods (Daily Mail)

Completely quackers: Mother is told off by park warden for feeding ducks ‘unhealthy’ white bread (Daily Mail)




Matthew Chatfield

Uncooperative crusty. Unofficial Isle of Wight cultural ambassador. Conservation, countryside and the environment, with extra stuff about spiders.

One thought on “Enough with feeding the ducks.

  • Tom Ransom

    They could have at least thrown in a couple of packs of fish fingers to go between those white slices.


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