Duck soup

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Photo kindly supplied by Rose Maria Burnell, taken on 16th February 2014.

Hi folks – this is a plea for a bit of common sense, and it would be really nice if folks could perhaps think about it a little bit. It’s a nice weekend, and with that, we all like to go for walks and visit our local parks and greenspaces.

At places like Chasewater (pictured) and Walsall Arboretum – as well as anywhere there is open water – a really popular activity is feeding the ducks and waterfowl. It’s no wonder, it’s a great way to have fun with kids and teach them about wildlife.

However, it would be really nice to consider when it’s appropriate to stop. These images were taken by friend of the blog and Brownhills reader Rose Maria Burnell at the Chasewater boating lake during the last period of decent weather in mid-February. Quite clearly, the feathered friends had taken their fill, and the discarded bread was beginning to form a pollution hazard.

If you want to feed the ducks, geese and swans, please go ahead, but seed is best; it’s far more nutritious than bread, and safer (bread can choke small birds like ducklings). Ordinary wild bird seed will do, but the innovation centre at Chasewater do sell it by the cup.

It’s hard enough for the rangers to keep on top of the bird poo problem there, let alone the bread, so please do think about it before adding to the issue.

Cheers – wherever you go this weekend, have fun – and thanks to Rose for raising the issue.

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Photo kindly supplied by Rose Maria Burnell, taken on 16th February 2014.

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Photo kindly supplied by Rose Maria Burnell, taken on 16th February 2014.

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7 Responses to Duck soup

  1. mickysix says:

    Hi Bob,
    I would just like to point out that most of the food, which is thrown into the lake and Chasewater itself, is in fact put there by a couple of people who have taken it upon themselves (and good for them, most of the time) to feed the ducks and the swans. I suppose having taken the time to do this almost every day, that they are not inclined to take it back if the birds are feed by others. If it was not for these dedicated people, would there be enough food for the birds, probably not on a cold day when there are few visitors!. Just a thought, could they take account of the fact that on warmer days other visitors will be doing the same?
    I know that the other week, when i took my great grand kids over there, that they were feeding and the one lady was telling me that she took carrier bags of bread and feed for the Birds everyday irrespective of the weather, she said who would care if she didn’t? Obviously on a warm day more people than she thought.
    I can’t complain as i put to much out for the wild birds at home!

  2. Andy Dennis says:

    I think it is worth noting that the populations of garden birds, even house sparrow and starling, are under much more pressure than the waterfowl that feed beside the Innovation Centre. The swans, mallard, white geese of uncertain pedigree and canada geese are not rare or endangered. I recall when the canada goose was quite rare, but now the population has reached plague proportions.

    Surplus and decomposing foodstuffs, even seeds well-suited to birds, quickly become unpalatable to birds and the more likely beneficiary is the rat. And most people don’t want those in their gardens!

    Yes, feeding the birds can be fun, but everything in moderation …

    • bill hardman says:

      Just to let you know that we have all the sparrows in our hedge in hednesford & if we don’t feed them they will soon let usknow

  3. Pedro says:

    Many years ago I passed by Forge Lake in Sandwell Valley. There was a notice asking people not to feed the birds of the lake as they were fed by the rangers.

    An elderly lady was distributing bread from a large bag, and was confronted by a couple who tried to explain why she should not do this. You could see by the her expression that she was taken aback. She genuinely thought she was doing the right thing, it was part of her life.

    Maybe some of us, who think differently, should take a broom now and then and just gather it up into a bag.

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