Swans are creatures of habit, often mating for life and breeding in the same place year after year. In early spring established pairs engage in elaborate courtship rituals and begin building their large sturdy nests from sticks and vegetation at the water’s edge. In late April about six round, greyish-green eggs are laid.
SO WHY STOP FEEDING THEM.
Lakes can only support so much wildlife within their own ecosystems, in simple terms once the ecosystem has too much of one input it has diverse effects on the output of the system.
The problems with feeding the swans is the current population, the swans have a good source of food due to the amount of food they are receiving. The lake has between 120 – 160 swans.
In an ideal world there should be enough swans to eat weed but leave enough for fish spawn, the current population is leaving no weed for spawning as more and more swans are attracted due to the amount of human feeding. This also impacts on destruction of surrounding areas, fouling on paths and destruction of reed beds etc. For the 1st year in possibly 10, the swans have not nested and raised young. This is partly due to also being unable to defend their nest territory.
It’s nice to see children feeding the swans and other birds and they get enough feed from this, turning up with bags of food deliberately feeding effect the system! And White bread in quantity is not healthy for the swan or the lake.
During spring summer months the lake has enough support to feed the swans with out human interventions and the quanity of swans becomes balanced it’s best to feed swans during winter months.
I witnessed 3 bags of white bread being given here and by it was not just a carrier bag, but sacks of bread, these people are destroying the system alone! This is ridiculous and needs to stop!
Why is Bread bad for the lake?
If you are going to feed the swans it is best to give seed or brown bread.
A lack of nutrients in white bread can leave the birds crippled with a condition similar to rickets in humans. Their limbs become so weak that the birds are unable to dive for food.
Leftover bread in the water can lead to poisonous blooms of blue-green-algae, posing another danger to the birds. We would advise anyone who wishes to take down food to take along brown bread instead. Potatoes, bird seed and carrots are also a much better choice.
The bottom line is their are no nutrients in bread for swans or ducks, it simply fills their tummies!
There are currently people feeding the wildlife in massive quanity. If you cared for the swans and ducks you would not do this?
“although Ducks seem to love bread, it is not nutritious. White bread in particular is made from refined flour and is not proper for avian nutrition. Many Ducks suffer from degenerative liver disease because they eat too much. Also, leftover bread and Duck droppings pollute the water. The uneaten bread turns into a deadly mold called Aspergillus, which is fatal to Ducks, fish and other animals. Rotting bread can also breed other deadly diseases and parasites, particularly a Duck virus Enteritis, which with a single outbreak will kill all the Ducks of that area.
Duck droppings can also breed diseases such as Avian Botulism and a parasite that causes swimmers itch, not that you would want to swim in the lake.
Feeding Ducks bread is like feeding Dogs chocolate. They may seem to like it but in the end it does more harm than good.
If you are going to feed the ducks (which, by the way, is illegal in some places, as it makes them dependent on human handouts and serves to keep unnaturally high numbers of waterfowl concentrated in small areas where an outbreak of disease is much more likely), you should give them cracked corn and feed designed specifically for waterfowl. You can get it in any feed/farm store.
Whist all this may seem negative, it’s a want to restore the lake, promote fish and have a balanced ecosystem. Your comments are appreciated.