Skip to content
10 Apr 2019

Don't give a duck

We understand that the tradition of going to the park to feed the ducks is a hard one to break. Besides, what harm does it really cause?

Unfortunately, it can cause a lot to the bird you are feeding and while we have been long-term advocates of the "no feeding the birds" message, many of our visitors wonder why. 

 

So. what harm does it cause?

Many people enjoy feeding birds and even believe that they are helping our feathery friends. Alas, feeding birds does more harm than good:

  1. It can make them sick. Human food, particularly bread, can be very unhealthy for birds. This is because these foods are often low in nutrition. Think of it as though you're feeding the bird 'fast food'.

               'Angel wings' on birds. 

    If these foods are eaten too often birds will become sluggish and malnourished. Also in extreme cases it can lead to 'Angel Wing' which is a deformity of the joints.

  2. It makes them lazy. Human food is a quick and easy option for birds.
    Over time they become dependent on artificial food sources and lose their ability to forage for natural food.

  3. It increases their risk of predation. Leftover food can attract pests and vermin, like foxes, that may also prey on birds and native animals.

  4. It encourages non-native animals into the area. Other animals compete for natural resources with our native birds and animals and may aggressively chase native species out of the area.

Angel wing is a debilitating deformity of the joints in the wing which causes the feathers to stick out sideways. It can prevent birds from flying, and can be irreversible in some birds. Spoiled or mouldy bread can contain toxins which make birds and other animals very sick.
 
DR ANNE FAWCETT, A VETERINARIAN AND LECTURER AT UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

So, are there any alternatives?

Opinion is mixed but we encourage visitors to let nature look after the birds. If you love them, don't feed them!
Thank you for making this small change to make a big change in the lives and health of our bird population.

ducks centennial park
Let nature take care of the ducks and leave the bread at home. 

Care for our green spaces

Centennial Parklands is one of Australia's largest and most popular public spaces, hosting more than 31 million visits every year.

People aren't the only ones who visit so we encourage everyone to Share the Park with the animals and wildlife who rest, nest, eat and live in the Parklands.

Whether you visit as cyclist, pedestrian, dog walker, horse rider or a motorist, you can do some things to help us Share the Park:

Pick up your rubbish or someone else will. Help protect our wildlife and waterways by disposing of your rubbish thoughtfully.

Watch out for your dog. Our ponds can be very tempting for dogs to run into, for the safety of your dog and for our wildlife we ask that you keep dogs on leash when inside Grand Drive.

There’s plenty of ways to contribute to an environmentally sustainable Parklands, but feeding the birds is not one of them. Don't give a duck (bread) - watch our video to find out more! 

Animals are most active around sunrise and sunset. Take extra care around these times when driving and cycling. The speed limit in the park is 30kph.

Find out how you can get involved with Share the Park here

Category: News, Nature, Events

If you are a journalist and have a media enquiry about this story, please click here for contact details and more information.

scripttarget