Council gives advice on feeding ducks

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LURGAN Park Lake is a haven for wildlife and boasts an abundance of creatures – including of course our feathered friends, the ducks and swans.

In order to keep these birds as healthy as possible, Craigavon Borough Council wants to let park users know what they should and shouldn’t be fed in order to keep them happy and nourished – and it may come as a surprise that bread is not recommended!

Instead, bird friendly foods include bird seed, oats, grapes cut in half, vegetable trimmings or peels, chopped lettuce or frozen peas or corn (defrosted).

“We know how people love to come down and feed the birds on the Lake and we really want people to continue enjoying doing this – but with food that is healthy for them,” commented Leanne McShane, Parks Development Officer at Lurgan Park.

“Ducks and swans feed themselves on the vegetation on the lake including weeds and insects – they only eat the food the public gives them out of greed. However, we can help them by feeding them ‘friendly’ foods that will help them thrive.”

Bread is the equivalent of ‘junk food’ for the birds and, as with humans, too much junk food can lead to excessive weight and malnutrition leading to poor growth and development. It also means that because the ducks will naturally seek out an easy food source such as human handouts, ducklings will not learn to forage for natural foods as easily.

Bread can also cause ‘Angel Wing’ in swans. This is a condition where the last joint of the wing doesn’t develop properly and leads to the wing sticking out instead of lying against the body.

There is also the pollution risk posed to the lake when uneaten bread is left to rot as this causes noxious odours as well as leading to greater algae growth that can clog natural waterways and can eventually eradicate fish and other life in the vicinity.

So help Council to help keep both the birds and the lake happy so everyone can enjoy the park and its inhabitants in all its glory!