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Is Bread Bad For Birds?

Feed the Birds . . . but Not White Bread!

I remember going to ponds and lakes near my hometown with a bag of bread in one hand and my mom gripping the other. We were going to feed the ducks our leftover stale bread, a common practice back in the day. But a study suggests that feeding the ducks your bread may not be helping them stay as healthy as we once thought.

While white bread does its job of filling up the tummies of the ducks, geese, swans, and other birds seen around lakes, it doesn't do a good job of giving them any nutritional assistance. Birds quickly get full from the bread, so they can't eat anything else that may contain the nutritional value they need to breed and raise their young. Val Osborne, head of wildlife inquiries at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK, said: "There are many other household foods that would be much better for them."

It's much better to feed the ducks alternatives like oats, potatoes, breakfast cereal, and overripe strawberries in place of the traditional slice of bread. It's a great practice to put into place when we want to give our own children the memories of trekking out to feed birds at the lake.

— Additional reporting by Hedy Phillips
Image Source: Flickr user dakiny
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