I don’t think Little M has ever turned down the opportunity to feed the birds and I am 100% confident that Mrs M hasn’t missed an opportunity to remind me that a Swan can break an arm!
Going to the park to feed the ducks is probably one of the most reliable, accessible and cost effective children’s activities that is also as popular today as it was when I was a child.
There have been some changes however! It turns out bread is like a Big Mac and Fries to our feathered friends! It doesn’t help with a balanced diet, with very few nutrients. Also, every man and his toddler provides a consistent supply throughout the day, so it is no wonder they are becoming unhealthy and overweight.
So, what food alternatives are available?
Some articles suggest we shouldn’t feed wild birds at all, with others believe that most park based poultry aren’t that wild anymore, so we can feed them, but we need to be responsible.
Firstly, rotting, mouldy, uneaten food in the waterways can cause all kinds of problems, so don’t think the birds will eat it later – don’t litter!
Duck & Swan Food
Whilst it isn’t a free food, it floats and is the most nutritious for the birds.
Rice (cooked or uncooked)
This is my favourite. There is always some in the house and its satisfying to feed the birds with.
Porridge Oats and FlapJack are always popular
Re-affirming the benefits of healthy eating to your little one whilst also satisfying the needs of the birds. Chopped Lettice or other similar greens.
Sweetcorn & Peas
Frozen peas or sweetcorn that has been defrosted is popular and easily accessible.
Grapes cut in half, mealworms, earthworms and milo are perhaps some of the least appealing from the list!
Despite a slight panic when Little M lost a glove to an enthusiastic swan (under the watchful eye of Gramps) feeding the ducks is a great reason to get out of the house. We are also fortunate to have a garden where we aim to encourage wildlife – however it is Granny and Grandads garden where the real action happens. Little M can spend ages looking at the squirrels, rabbits and birds which visit their feeding station.
Where are your top Yorkshire locations for duck feeding?
If you were wondering about the swans… they can be aggressive if you are near their nests, but will mostly just hiss and flap before breaking your arm! They are big though – so its probably best to keep a safe distance! www.bbc.co.uk
Photographs taken with Aunty & Uncle in Kent.