With springtime officially here and the weather warming up, we can be sure of two things – the arrival of new baby animals, and more people venturing outside to enjoy the sunshine. While a walk in the park to feed the birds sounds like a great afternoon, the reality is that feeding birds most “people food” like bread can seriously harm or kill them.

When ducks, geese, swans, and other waterfowl ingest a diet too high in protein or carbohydrates, they can develop a very serious condition called “angel wing.”  Angel wing has not been studied extensively, but the main symptom is the improper growth and development of the birds’ wings. Rather than grow naturally against the shape of their bodies, the wings grow outwardly at an angle, causing birds to have difficulty or an inability to fly. Without their wings functioning properly, these birds become an easy target for predators. This disability also hinders them from escaping dangerous weather conditions and living a life typical of waterfowl. Although some baby birds can be rehabilitated from angel wing, most adult birds die as a result.

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Twitter user @lusxt shared this photo of a park sign that perfectly sums up why feeding bread to ducks is harmful. We could not have said it better ourselves!

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It can be disappointing to animal lovers to learn that an activity once believed to be caring and kind is, in fact, harmful. However, this does not mean we have to stop feeding the birds! As the sign explains, it is safe to feed waterfowl a number of treats, including grapes sliced in half, leafy greens, peas, corn, and birdseed.

Please share this with friends and help save ducks and other waterfowl by feeding them the right snacks!

Image Source: natalex04/Shutterstock