Feeding Wild Birds Bread – Is it Dangerous?
It's a pastime that every nostalgic adult can relate to - walking down the park as a child and stopping to feed the ducks bread by the pond. It's a wonderful experience that helps bring a child closer to the natural world - but is bread actually any good for the birds themselves? Read this guide to learn more about feeding wild birds bread. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
Bird Feeding and Bread: An Overview
While feeding birds bread does no actual harm, it's a foodstuff they should only eat in moderation. In terms of the nutritional value bread actually offers birds, the health benefits can be minimal.
Bread tends to be very high in salt content and low in protein, a ratio that is not recommended for birds - especially considering the fact birds can be fed by various different people several times a day. Eating unhealthy amounts of bread can cause birds problems with growth, malnutrition and obesity issues.
It's best to stray away from feeding bread during the spring months, as chick or duckling growth can be affected by a lack of available nutrients if bread is the primary source of nutrition.
Finally, the expectation of bread can cause some flying birds to become lazy and, occasionally, aggressive. For instance seagulls can begin to swoop erratically if regularly fed bread within a confined area - something that can prove hazardous and scare children. The birds may even become territorial amongst themselves as they fight it out to secure food.
On balance, then, feeding birds the occasional treat of bread will have little or no impact on health - but it's best to stick to providing healthier alternatives such as cereals and oats if at all possible, especially if you are feeding wild birds on a regular basis.