• L to R - Tahlia Newton (9) Elise Elith(7), Joilet Brennan(9), Lily Beck (7)

Thursday, 11 July 2019

It’s an age old custom to take your children or grandchildren to feed the ducks. But what might seem a seemingly innocent act is in fact harming our birdlife and polluting our pristine waterways.

Sadly duck feeders are unwittingly damaging the health of ducks and other birds, with a high diet of bread resulting in a disease called angel wing. In adult birds, the disease is incurable leading to an early death, with affected birds left flightless.

Uneaten bread can also cause algal bloom, allowing bacteria to breed attracting rats and other vermin.

To spread the word about the risks of feeding bread to our ducks, Council’s Coastal Environment Centre has joined forces with local Elanora girl guides.

Centre Manager Jules Bellamy said the guides will be designing a poster that explains the effects of feeding bread to our ducks and other wildlife.

They will also spend some time next to Narrabeen Lagoon chatting to residents and visitors about these risks and handing out bags of carrot pieces that are a much healthier alternative.

Seven-year-old Elise Elith from Elanora girl guides said we learned that bread makes ducks sick. We want to help to tell people to feed them things like corn and carrots instead.”

“Ideally we want people to come down to the lagoon and appreciate the wildlife without feeding them, but if they are keen to do so, carrots, lettuce or corn are a good alternative,” said Ms Bellamy.

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