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Feed the Birds – Our Swans and Ducks are Hungry

publication date: May 22, 2020
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author/source: Anne Coates

feeding swans

There have been many repercussions from the lockdown in the UK and one major impact has been on our wildlife in parks and open spaces. Swans and ducks especially in the confined areas of ponds and waterways in parks where they traditionally rely on us for extra feeding especially during the breeding season. Many are now going hungry and some are at risk of starvation. Mallard ducks and the three types of swan found in the UK – mute swan, Berwick’s swan and whooper swan – are currently listed under "Amber" status in theRSPB’s list of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Most children – and adults – love feeding the ducks so if you can safely visit your local waterside, please carry a few kitchen scraps or even some specialist duck food and scatter it on the bankside to give them a helping hand and maybe save a life.

Ducks and swans will enjoy a number of kitchen scraps so you don’t need to spend money to help. Good nutritional scraps include:

  • Raw or cooked sweetcorn
  • Peas
  • Oats
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Other healthy greens like those listed above

And what about bread? White breads are not good for them. A few scraps maybe but try to use seeded or wholegrain loaves wherever possible,Even better, you can buy nutritionally balanced duck and swan food online and this will provide a balanced diet for all the birds, particularly young growing birds at this vital time of year.

The UK garden wildlife products and supplies company Ark Wildlife is giving away tonnes of Ark Duck & Swan Floating Food to animal sanctuaries and waterfowl charities during the lockdown. The company operates an Ark Charity Partners scheme to support anyone that cares for wildlife or helps with protecting and creating habitats, and has already supplied The Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Wood Green Animal Shelter among others across the UK.