Feeding ducks can be a really fun activity- humans and ducks both agree! However, it is so important that we make sure we are helping the ducks and not hurting them!
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to feeding our webbed friends:
✅ DO – Feed ducks corn, oats, rice, birdseed, frozen peas, chopped lettuce, or sliced grapes. These are similar to foods they eat on their own anyway!
✅ DO – Make sure the food is in small, bite-sized portions as ducks do not chew their food!
✅ DO – Clean up after yourself! Dispose of any trash or uneaten food.
✅ DO – Keep your distance and present yourself as non-threatening, especially toward ducklings who are fragile and become stressed or injured more easily.
✅ DO – Make sure you are aware of local ordinances and obey any laws that may restrict you from feeding wildlife.
✅ DO – Be very careful of any birds approaching you quickly and closely- they could be aggressive (especially swans or geese).
❌ DON’T – Feed ducks anything that does not mimic their natural diet (no junk food, bread, chips, crackers, cereal, popcorn, avocado, citrus, etc.)
❌ DON’T – Give them large pieces of food. We want them to be able to eat easily, and ducks do not chew their food!
❌ DON’T – Leave any uneaten food or trash lying around. Leftover food in the water can rot and cause deadly algae, and litter can hurt birds or other wildlife!
❌ DON’T – Try to pet any wild ducks or geese. They are not pets!
❌ DON’T – Allow children or pets to chase the ducks or disturb them in any way.
❌ DON’T – Continue feeding the ducks if they seem uninterested. They might be full! Leftover food sitting around can rot as well as cause unwanted pests.
Safe Foods Vs. Unsafe Foods
Here are some of our recommended SAFE foods as well as the UNSAFE foods that should be avoided:
- Corn niblets
- Cracked corn
- Sliced grapes
- Frozen peas
- Chopped lettuce or kale
- Carrot pieces
- Cucumbers, squash, or zucchini
- Earthworms (fishing bait)
- Mealworms (fresh or dried)
- Avocado (Poisonous to ducks!)
- Junk food
- Salty or sugary snacks
- Any dairy
- Any plants of foods from the nightshade family (eggplants, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes)