City Reminds Residents Not to Feed Birds Along Waterfront Trail
Posted: April 04, 2019
With warmer weather ahead and increased activity along the Waterfront Trail, the City would like to remind residents to refrain from feeding birds, such as ducks, geese, gulls and swans. Though well intended, the results are negative in a variety of ways.
For waterfowl, bread is essentially junk food. It fills birds up, but carries very little nutritional value. Baby birds are more likely to end up malnourished, without the plant nutrients they need to grow properly. A high-calorie, low-nutrient diet can cause waterfowl to develop a condition known as ‘angel wing,’ an incurable wing deformity that usually renders birds flightless. The constant availability of human-supplied junk food keeps young birds from learning how to forage healthy food for themselves. Meanwhile, grown-up birds gorging on carbs are more likely to become overweight and sick.
Even the bread that birds don't eat is bad for them. Rotting bread can grow mold that makes fowl sick, contributes to the growth of algae and attracts vermin that spread disease to birds and humans alike.
“We ask that residents respect this and heed the signs along our waterfront trail,” said Rowland Cave-Browne-Cave, Parks and Open Space Supervisor. “Not only is this harmful to the birds, but it also encourages them to gather in bunches. This creates a mess on the trails and grass areas making it necessary to allocate staff to clear it away and the droppings can be a potential health hazard. Our waterfront is full of natural, healthy food options for them. Please let them eat the diet that is best for them.”