Why not feed the birds?


Ava Bedker, Reporter

I was sitting in a Starbucks trying to find inspiration for my next article when a flock of Canadian geese flew over us. The lady sitting next to me started up a conversation informing me about the details of the birds. She Enlighted me about the challenges these lovely bird face.  

When Canadian geese are fed bread by the locals, they cannot properly digest it, and the yeast expands in their stomachs. This results in them dropping loads more of poop all over our cities. The yeast in the birds’ droppings also pollutes the water resulting in excessive bacteria buildup. This becomes an issue for the fish and the aquatic life in our lakes and streams.   

The expansion in their stomachs also causes them to become too fat to fly. When they cannot migrate, they overpopulate the area, and it causes them to have to be euthanized. In 2021, the USDA alone euthanized about 26,000 Canada geese. Most of the killings are done with gas but over 5,600 were done with firearms. This euthanasian process started in the year 2000 when they started to see a real problem with them being unable to travel. That year, they euthanized 7,000 birds. This tragedy raised the question of what can we feed them?  

Feeding the birds in the park is a pleasant, euphoric activity. It gives you the feeling that you are giving back and doing something good. But in reality, it causes a much bigger problem than the birds wanting a snack. So, what can we feed them that does not harm them? Surprisingly enough cereal that does not contain yeast is a great snack for birds and they love it. According to the animal food guide website they also will appreciate nuts and fruits.  

So, don’t feed them bread, spread the word, and stop the massacre of thousands.