I remember going to ponds and lakes near my hometown with a bag of bread in one hand and my mom gripping the other. We were going to feed the ducks our leftover stale bread, a common practice back in the day. But a new study suggests that feeding the birds your bread may not be helping them stay as healthy as we once thought.
While white bread does its job of filling up the tummies of the ducks, geese, swans, and other birds seen around lakes, it doesn't do a good job of giving them any nutritional assistance. Birds quickly get full from the bread, so they can't eat anything else that may contain the nutritional value they need to breed and raise their young. Val Osborne, head of wildlife inquiries at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK, said: “There are many other household foods that would be much better for them."
To see what kind of foods, just read more.
The RSPB is asking citizens to feed birds alternatives like oats, potatoes, breakfast cereal, and overripe strawberries in place of the traditional slice of bread. Although this advice was aimed mainly at UK residents that feed birds in their backyards, it's good food for thought for those of us who are stateside, and want to give our own children the memories of trekking out to feed birds at the lake.