OUT IN THE FIELD: Time to stop feeding the birds?
It’s many years now since the Little Treasures were small and wanted to go and feed the ducks in Hampden Park and Princes Park but it was a favourite pastime of ours, collecting all the old bread and throwing it to them. That tradition continues for many families but now it appears the seemingly innocent pastime could not just be bad for the birds’ health but can damage entire ecosystems. Take the current state of Decoy Pond in Hampden Park. Only a few years ago £150,000 was spent on dredging the pond but now it appears birds there are becoming poorly and some say that a bread-rich diet is causing wildfowl to become ill and, in some cases, deformed. Conservationists also warn that undigested bread sinking and rotting can create wider havoc, encouraging bacteria, mould and algae and attracting rats. Could it be time to stop throwing bread to the ducks? Perhaps community groups could instal machines dispensing proper bird food in the town’s parks in a bid to solve the pond problems.
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