gather round children it is time for some actual tru bird facts okay i am here to tell u all about angel wing (and why you shouldnt feed waterfowl bread)
angel wing is a syndrome most commonly seen in waterfowl (ducks,geese, etc.) in which their last wing joint twists around and causes the end of the wing to flip out. waterfowl with angel wing cant fly and often have a shorter lifespan than birds without the syndrome.
so how do waterfowl get angel wing? in one word, malnutrition. in more words, from people feeding them bread.
bread (white bread especially) is essentially candy for ducks and geese. it has 0 nutritional value but they eat it because it tastes good and they dont know its bad for them. its also really easy for them to get, because people literally throw it at them.
feeding waterfowl bread products is bad for more reasons too:
- it causes overcrowding because animals flock to easy sources of food.
- uneaten bread causes water pollution and can lead to the destruction of pond flora and fauna.
- uneaten bread can also attract rodents and insects.
- bread gives ducks diarrhea, which introduces diseases into pond systems that will definitely infect people.
- feeding causes waterfowl to abandon natural behaviors and become buddy buddy with people which is 100% never ever good for wildlife.
now, i understand your nostalgia and urge to feed the ducks. and while that still isnt the best thing to do (see the last bullet point), there are better things to feed waterfowl than bread:
- duck feed you can buy in a store (or even at some locations)
- cracked corn, barley and other such grains
- regular bird seed
- defrosted peas
- other stuff mentioned here!
tl;dr: feeding waterfowl bread products harms both the birds and the ecosystem, but alternatives such as bird seed or grapes can let you keep the fun of pond feedings without the death count!