Wild Ducks and Geese, And Herbicides
Please do not allow pets or children to chase or disturb the ducks or geese, particularly young birds or families. It can stress out the birds or cause injuries.
And now; several more reasons to end herbicide use at Sacramento Area Parks and Open Spaces:
Springtime is the time of newborns, babies, young waterfowl, and not the time to Spray Parks.
For many local waterfowl, April and May in the Sacramento Area are the months of newborns, and fresh Spring growth of ground cover, plants, bushes and trees.
At Regional Parks the ponds are full….
In the semi-wild urban green infrastructure of Sacramento, Springtime is the time of newborn ducklings, and goslings.
In the Sacramento Area, the natural diet for ducks may include snails, fish, algae, frogs, and shellfish, worms, snails, grasses, clover, dandelions, daisies, … ducks will eat any kind of insect or meat. They eat pond skaters and diving beetles, snails and shellfish, and small fish as well as fish eggs, small amphibians and molluscs. Ducks also enjoy eating frogspawn and tadpoles.
“Ducklings have the same diet as adult ducks but tend to eat more of the softer foods, including soft aquatic plants and algae, worms and tiny crustaceans and molluscs.”
Ducks are excellent aquatic foragers and will spend long periods of time sifting and straining pond water to pick up different types of tiny or microscopic insects, worms, crustaceans and other shellfish.
Their flat bills work almost like a sieve, allowing them to strain pond water to retrieve the food items. Ducks also consume most any aquatic pond vegetation and will generally consume whatever is available in the pond at the time, including amphibians, molluscs, even small fish.
“Ducks do not just feed and forage on the water, but graze on the grasses too. Ducks will eat the grass itself, as well as any and all types of insects, worms, molluscs such as slugs and snails and larvae. Their bills are multi-purpose and have reasonably sharp edges suitable for tearing light vegetation from the ground.”
According to observations and insights at ‘Birds & Bugs & Things With Wings’:
“Regardless of the subspecies, all wild geese consume a similar diet; and proper nutrition is as important to geese as it is to humans.”
“The mainstays of the diet are grains, grasses, alfalfa, clover, wheat, beans, rice, corn, aquatic plants, roots, shoots, stems, seeds, bulbs, berries and the occasional insect. They forage for whole wheat and cracked corn in fields, grazing while walking.”
“They follow a consistent schedule in their mealtimes, flying to their feeding areas in the mornings and afternoons. In between those two feedings, they are on the water, where they grab blades of aquatic grasses with their beaks and jerk them out of the ground. They also extend their long necks underneath the water and check out the bottom silt for additional plant food.”
“Altogether, geese need to spend approximately half their day feeding, either on land or on water, in order to satisfy their nutritional needs.”
“Green vegetation takes precedence over agricultural grains during the earlier months of the year. Like most other wildlife, geese increase the carbohydrates in their diets in the fall and winter. The carbohydrates produce elevated body heat, which helps to protect against the colder temperatures of the season. The adults gravitate toward agricultural grains, berries and barley. The younger birds feed primarily on alfalfa and winter wheat.”
And as they state this so well;
“It is possible to make those park visits positive experiences for the geese as well as for the humans. It boils down to feeding responsibly by cutting bread from the menu.”
(And) “looking for the less-frequented areas to avoid over-crowding and feeding (only) healthy products such as corn (canned, frozen, fresh), pellets, lettuce and other greens, frozen peas (defrosted) and seeds, and all in moderation.”
Another really good site, BirdFact, states:
“Most species of geese are omnivores, but their diet mainly consists of plant matter, particularly seeds, grass, roots, grains, bulbs, berries and aquatic plants.”
“Some species, such as Canadian geese, are herbivores.”
“When geese consume grass, they’ll also likely be looking for roots, seeds and bulbs which have higher nutritional content than grass alone. Whilst geese likely aren’t searching for live insects; they’d probably not be too concerned about scooping up the occasional beetle or small worm whilst feeding.”
So much information on these sites!
Please visit them.
The over-use of glyphosate based herbicides (GBH) eradicates targeted vegetation by specific distribution – surrounding the base (bole, stem) of every tree across Park landscapes – the emergent vegetation, and natural diet, of wild ducks and Canadian geese in Spring, at Sacramento Area Parks, of which the same trees, contribute significantly to the UTC, or Urban Tree Canopy, of Sacramento
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