The snow is finally melting with a lot of clear blue skies in the last few weeks, opening up pathways allowing access down to Lake Ontario. After a few walks now and seeing far more than the usual number of dead waterfowl at this time of year, tonight’s news story stating approximately 92% of the water is still frozen in Southern Ontario, made it very clear that there is a crisis with the birds.
Many of them have had to travel long distances to try and find open water, as their normal winter waters are frozen over and competition for food is outrageous with the temporary over population. Adding to that, most municipalities have by-laws stating it is illegal to feed migratory birds, so it puts people who want to help the animals in an unenviable position of deciding if they should do so, while breaking the law.
It is important that if people ‘do’ decide to feed waterfowl with the intent to get them through this brutal winter cold, they feed them nutritious food that will not harm them. Good foods for Water Fowl will provide the nutrients, minerals and vitamins that they need for healthy development. They would be similar to the natural seeds, grains and plants that they would forage on their own, if they were able to.
I plan on making a quick trip to the grocery store and the dollar store so I can help out the Water Fowl on my little corner of the lake. Here is my list:
Wheat, barley or similar grains
Oats (uncooked; rolled or quick)
Rice (cooked or uncooked)
Birdseed (any type or mix)
Grapes (cut in half)
Frozen peas or corn (defrosted, no need to cook)
Chopped lettuce or other greens or salad mixes
Vegetable trimmings or peels (chopped)
Mealworms (fresh or dried)