Unfortunately, I have been feeding wild ducks that
have been coming into my yard for several months now. There is a
natural brook in my backyard. I have just found out about the harm
that feeding does and I will stop. I had been getting them cracked
corn. I certainly do not want to contribute to harming these
beautiful creatures. MY main question is if I stop right away
(completely) will they be okay for the winter. Our winter has been
very mild so far but I want to be assured that the ducks will soon
take off to other parts that will be safe. Please tell me that the
harm I have already done can be healed.
Many people make that same mistake only because they were trying to help.
Don't be afraid, it has not been occurring for too long so I would just stop
feeding them and they will eventually decide to go look for food elsewhere.
As long as they were full grown when you started, they still know how to
find food on their own, you are just easier! Thank you for your concern for
the ducks, it's great that you want to be devoted to helping them and their
First, don't feel too guilty about feeding the ducks corn. Biologists agree
that supplemental feeding is not necessary, and can be harmful if it
concentrates too many birds in one place so that disease can spread, or if
bread (especially) or other food not good for the birds is fed. Corn itself
is not bad for the birds, the change in behavior is the possible problem.
For now, in mild weather, just stop feeding and see what happens, I expect
the birds will move on on their own. If they are still coming to your yard
in very cold weather its probably OK to feed them a little bit until weather
turns mild again. Good luck.
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Update: June 2012