[CT Birds] no feeding waterfowl?

kevin.rogers82 at gmail.com kevin.rogers82 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 13 13:36:45 EST 2010


http://audubonportland.org/backyardwildlife/brochures/waterfowl

On Feb 13, 2010 10:28am, "COMINS, Patrick" <PCOMINS at audubon.org> wrote:
> It is partly a water quality issue, because large, permanent aggregations  
> of waterfowl can cause high bacteria levels and nitrification of a water  
> body. This problem is much more acute with their congregatory and aquatic  
> habits and larger body mass as compared to songbirds. Also since most of  
> the time, such feeding is with junk food and the poor diet involved may  
> be doing more harm than good. It is also felt that it gives a competitive  
> advantage to introduced non-native generalist species such as Mallard,  
> resident Canada Goose and Mute Swan. Mallards, though native to North  
> America, were originally predominantly a prairie pothole nester and were  
> historically found only as migrants and winter visitors. They were  
> introduced and/or escaped from farms and this also likely encouraged a  
> range expansion. This can cause problems in areas (like our area) were  
> closely-related Anas waterfowl are native, eg American Black Ducks,  
> Mottled Duck, Hawaiian Duck, Laysan Duck, because Mallards readily  
> hybridize with the natives and dilute the integrity of the gene pool. In  
> our area, many of the American Black Ducks you find are actually hybrid  
> black duck X Mallard. Canada Geese, are of course, also native to North  
> America, but have been introduced as nesters to areas where they aren't  
> native nesters and have a competitive advantage by not having to brave  
> the hazards of migratory living. Mute Swans are not native to North  
> America at all. For these reasons, the DEP would not be happy about a  
> program to install food dispensers for feeding waterfowl.



> Patrick Comins, Meriden







> ________________________________________

> From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org  
> [ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Donna  
> [sunny19682 at comcast.net]

> Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:48 AM

> To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org

> Subject: [CT Birds] no feeding waterfowl?



> I'm curious... why is feeding waterfowl discouraged if people are willing  
> to feed them the right foods and not breads? I could understand if it's  
> private property, but is this the deal even for public places? It was a  
> common practice when I was a child... one of the ways that got me really  
> interested in birds was going to the New Haven Green to feed the pigeons  
> and locally to feed ducks. I've gone numerous times to the local supply  
> ponds and gently educated folks who were with their kids feeding bread to  
> ducks. If approached nicely, they do understand the harm bread causes the  
> birds.



> I'd be interested in the reasoning behind this if there is a problem. I  
> mean if it's ok for folks all over to feed yard birds, what makes  
> waterfowl any different if the right foods are offered? Not trying to  
> whack a hornets nest - just curious as to why the practice is discouraged  
> - or is it just because of this particular location being private  
> property or business property? Besides, if the right foods are offered,  
> why not set up little dispensers with "duck chow" at public places? It  
> would make some money for local municipalities while allowing the birds  
> to be fed the "right stuff" and for people to enjoy an old practice with  
> their kids.



> Donna Lorello

> Branford

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