Bird-lovers in the Midlands are running the risk of killing ducks, geese and swans – with kindness
By being fed bread the birds can develop a health condition which can prevent them from flying.
As a result, victims might be unable to seek out more nutritious natural food, and could eventually starve to death.
Bird experts are warning well-meaning families to stop throwing starchy scraps to ducks, geese and swans on park ponds, lakes and rivers in the region.
They say that it is much better to give them properly balanced food which is easy and cheap to buy.
Grahame Madge, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said: “Feeding ducks on the park pond – or geese and swans on rivers – has become a long-established favourite pastime for many people, especially parents with young children.
“It is an excellent way for the public to have contact with birdlife and for toddlers to learn to appreciate ducks, geese and swans later in life.
“But feeding bread – or we’ve often seen chips – to birds can lead to them developing health problems.
“Food thrown into the water, but not eaten, can also cause difficulties with nutrient build-up in the water, especially in closed water like ponds and lakes.
“We don’t want to stop people from feeding ducks, geese and swans but they should consider buying properly balanced food which is available from pet shops or from vets.