Why you should not feed bread to the ducks

Lunchtime in the main pond of Centennial Park as birds , including pelicans, swans, ducks, seagulls and geese vie for bread scraps Picture: Robert Pearce
Lunchtime in the main pond of Centennial Park as birds , including pelicans, swans, ducks, seagulls and geese vie for bread scraps Picture: Robert Pearce

Most children have experienced the joy of feeding the ducks at the local pond or lake. But it seems this peaceful pastime is actually harmful to the birds.

Wingecarribee Council in the Southern Highlands of NSW, has recently erected signage at Lake Alexandra advising visitors not to feed the ducks. 

The sign reads, “While they [the ducks] look like they want food, bread is not good for them and can make them sick.”

“Bread also pollutes water and causes algae which kills fish and gives ducks diseases.” 

A council spokesperson said there had been community complaints about people feeding ducks over the years. 

“We’ve received a few complaints and calls from residents, some via social media too, asking us to do something about people feeding the ducks,” the spokesperson said. 

Don't feed the ducks sign at Lake Alexandra.

Don't feed the ducks sign at Lake Alexandra.

“Some people have taken to installing their own home-made signs and attaching them to the fence in the past.”

Although the sign clearly reads “don’t feed the ducks,” it is not an ordnance sign, it is simply a word of advice, and council will not be issuing fines if people do feed the ducks. 

The sign is intended, however, to reduce the ducks becoming dependent on people for food and instances of aggressive behaviour from the birds and to stop people throwing loaves of bread into the water.

It has been proven that bread is unhealthy for ducks as they fill up on it instead of eating more healthy types of food. 

Before you next choose to feed a duck, remember that it can seriously harm their health.