Please, Please, Please Don’t Feed Our Beautiful Wild Creatures Crappy Junk Food

Mute Swan Cygnus olor ©Kim Smith 2015

Mute Swan

Early Sunday morning was spent filming along the water’s edge. It was a gorgeous scene and I observed dozens of different species of wildlife foraging for seaweed, seagrass, seed heads, and sundry other native plants and grasses.

I left for a moment to go back to my car to change a camera lens and when I returned, there was an old woman throwing crackers at the ducks and the shoreline was littered with the unmistakeable bright orange of CHEETOS. Seriously??? First denying she had dumped the Cheetos, she stared mutely when I suggested that it is really not a good idea to feed our beautiful water birds junk food. Wildlife face challenges enough adapting to climate change and habitat destruction; it’s just plain common sense not to feed them garbage. She had her dog with her and I wanted to ask if she fed her dog junk food, too.

Cheetos ©Kim Smith 20153

A bounty of food for wildlife, at this time of year especially, grows naturally along the shores, marshes, and meadows of Cape Ann. If you are interested in feeding a particular avian species, find out what is safe and healthy. For example, the best food for ducks such as mallards are those that provide nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and they include cracked corn, wheat or similar whole grains, chopped lettuce, spinach, and mealworms. The absolute worst and most unhealthy are bread, chips, crackers, popcorn, and it should go without saying, Cheetos.



12 thoughts on “Please, Please, Please Don’t Feed Our Beautiful Wild Creatures Crappy Junk Food

  1. Amen! I too grew up, like most people, thinking it was okay to throw bread to ducks and other birds. You know, feeding them. But bread is nothing but empty calories–filling them up with nothing, eventually making them sick because they’re not eating the good stuff (just like people). Thanks for this post, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing this information! Until a few years ago I didn’t know this! Now it’s actually easier and less expensive (a plus for some who want to feed the birds) to buy cracked corn and carry a small bag of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The crap we eat is not suitable for any real animal… Hello America! I wouldn’t feed my worst enemy Cheetos! We all have internet at our fingertips, you see a bird, look up what’s good for them to eat… Ask Siri! What is it for, anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim,

    Messengers are truly needed today!

    Great post and educational and like what both said above we all have been guilty of this at one point in life but as you travel the path you begin to pick up lessons and pass them on! Some people get offended when you tell them and put this out – but in you post you also offer them a way out with what to feed them. Wisdom and education comes with time and you never truly graduate. Now you do have to be careful with anything around seagulls because they are opportunist – PBJ, Ice Cream, or anything help in a hand or laid on a beach towel may be homed in on and taken! I talk from experience here lanes cove – plum cove, cranes beach, Lobster cove…:-) Dave & Kim 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. White bread AND, junk food–will leech the calcium form the ‘bones’ of wild birds, making their wings dysfunctional. Politely–or, not–STOP people from hurting these beautiful animals!

    Liked by 2 people

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