Do you have a local river, canal or pond with resident ducks? Offering food to wild animals is rewarding in so many ways, but ducks, swans and geese are especially fun as they are often very accustomed to being near humans so it’ s wonderful opportunity to study their behaviour up close.
Birds are especially grateful to have their natural diet supplemented in Winter time, when icy conditions can make foraging difficult, and in Spring time when the demands of nest building and raising chicks requires extra energy.
In the wild, these birds usually eat a variety of plants and invertebrates such as slugs, snails and insects. People are often unsure what to feed ducks and swans, and some signs can advise against feeding bread. While bread isn’t necessarily harmful in small amounts, it doesn’t include the nutrients required, and can fill their bellies, meaning they don’t have room to “eat their greens”.
If your local birds appetites haven’t been spoiled by too much bread, then try some of the following inexpensive alternatives:
- Sweetcorn – tinned, fresh or frozen
- Lettuce – ripped into pieces
- Frozen peas – defrost them first
- Oats – rolled or instant porridge
- Seeds – inexpensive mixed seed for birds or humans!
- Rice – left over from takeaways or uncooked is fine
Come back when you’ve finished the challenge and let us know your ducks favourite snack in the Comments below!
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