Our local park has a large pond, with a year-round population of ducks. Many of them are “rescue” ducks which wouldn’t survive on their own. (One has a twisted leg, for example, and another is missing a wing.) Some of them have just apparently decided that the park is a pretty good place to set up camp for the winter.
One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to go down there with a few loaves of Wonder Bread and feed them. I love how they swarm around me, honking plaintively for their meal. They act like they’re so hungry!
Not too long ago, I was talking about this with a co-worker, and he was horrified. He claimed that white bread can actually harm the ducks by swelling in their stomachs and intestines.
I’ve seen the stuff that other people feed them. The owner of a local movie theater brings down big bags of salted popcorn. (If anything would hurt them, I’d say that movie-theater popcorn would.) Others feed them potato chips.
I suggested to my co-worker that these ducks’ stomachs must be used to “city” foods, much like squirrels have become. He didn’t agree.