In the United States of America and Canada, it has become a very normal sight if not hobby to walk along lakes and ponds and see people happily feeding the ducks. As generous and heartwarming it is to see small acts of kindness between humans and feathered friends, this kind of activity is very harmful to both the birds and the environment as a whole. It becomes a really critical issue when there are so many people feeding ducks by the water, especially bread.
Foods that we as human beings eat all the time such as popcorn, bread, chips, and crackers are difficult for the ducks to correctly digest and get any nutrients from. It might taste absolutely wonderful for them, but the reality of it is by constantly filling themselves up this junk food (that we as people keep supplying to them for free) they miss out on eating things that they actually do need and become malnourished. Being malnourished leads to a lot of harmful diseases such as “angel wings,” which is a disease that deforms the wings of ducks when they are malnourished and prevents them from being able to fly very well.
The other really harmful side effect to feeding ducks regularly is that they are indirectly being taught they can always find a seemingly endless supply of food there that is super easy to get. What follows is the ducks will overcrowd the popular feeding spots and we are left with mass amounts of feces all over park spaces. It is not a completely terrible idea to feed the ducks, but it is important to be mindful about how often are you doing it, where are you feeding them, and what exactly are you giving them. Foods they can eat are uncooked rice, oats, and cracked corn.