DON'T FEED THE DUCKS
Far Hills Association members –
There have been complaints about people feeding the ducks on our lake, so I put together a brief summary of some of the harmful effects of feeding ducks and other waterfowl. There’s plenty of information available on the web to educate you further.
Don’t feed the ducks!
Giving food to ducks and geese (waterfowl) can create many problems for birds and the environment, and both Mass Audubon and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW) discourage it. Feeding ducks bread, crackers, or any carbohydrate-rich diet leads to greater defecation. Deposits of fecal matter can affect water quality and compromise human health.
Bad for people:
Where waterfowl congregate to feed, E-coli counts can swell to levels that make the water unsuitable for swimming. Children can also come into contact with droppings left on the surrounding landscape. Additionally, an abundance of waterfowl means the water may contain the parasite that causes swimmers itch.
Bad for the lake:
Waterfowl feces contributes significantly to water pollution in the form of fecal coliform bacteria, and nutrients in the feces promote algae and weed growth.
Bad for the ducks:
Most waterfowl die-offs in the past 10 years have involved artificial feeding. Artificial feeding encourages unnaturally large flocks to gather in one place where the competition for food can cause unnecessary stress. This may weaken the birds and make them more susceptible to disease. Also, birds crowded into these areas are defecating in the same location where they’re feeding.