“I don't know about the rest of the world, but in Britain there is a very entrenched tradition of 'feeding the ducks'. People go on walks (usually at the weekend), and they take with them bagfuls of bread (sometimes even whole loaves). They then proceed to throw all the bread in the water. After a while the ducks and other birds at the pond get bored or full, and they stop eating it (see photo, taken over the weekend at Southampton Common's Cemetary Lake). Then more people come and throw in more bread. More people come, and they throw in more bread. Then more, and so on and on. On any given day, the most popular 'duck ponds' are polluted by, literally, kilos of bread.”
Read the entire article here.
Feeding ducks and geese has been a pastime for generations, but the more we learn about wild waterfowl, the more we realize how detrimental feeding them is.
Ducks and geese like bread, and will clamor for it much like a child will ask for candy. But bread has no nutritional value for waterfowl, it fills their stomachs up so that they do not eat the foods they need in order to remain healthy. Birds without proper nutrition will quickly succumb to disease and death.
Nutrition is not the only reason we shouldn't feed wild ducks and geese. Feeding ducks causes many problems, for the ducks and for the environment as well. Here are just a coupleof them:
Overcrowding: Where birds are fed, more birds will come, usually leading to a crowded situation. More birds mean more droppings. Excess feces cause water pollution, create an unsanitary environment for human recreation, and lead to the spread of disease in the bird population. As Mr. Naish points out, water quality degrades so much that the pond dies. The most popular 'duck ponds' are all entirely devoid of macroscopic life: no plants except for algae.
Disease: There are documented cases of waterfowl dying from enteritis, aspergillosis, and avian botulism, all due to excess food left floating in the water. These diseases spread quickly throughout populations due to the overcrowded situations that feeding waterfowl causes.
Here are a couple more links to information about 'feeding' ducks. Please, don't do it!