Researchers found high numbers of mallards and other puddle ducks in urban sanctuaries during Connecticut’s annual Midwinter Waterfowl Survey. The presence of wild waterfowl in urban areas is often associated with supplemental feeding activities, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
“The Department discourages citizens from feeding waterfowl for a number of reasons, including increased risk of disease transmission, potential for poor nutrition, and a clouding of the real issue facing waterfowl and wildlife in general in Connecticut – loss of suitable habitat,” said Rick Jacobson, Director for the DEEP Wildlife Division.
DEEP conducted the annual Midwinter Waterfowl Survey on January 8 and 9, 2014. The survey is conducted throughout the Atlantic Flyway, and is used as an index of long-term wintering waterfowl trends.
The Connecticut survey is conducted from a helicopter and a census is obtained from the coast, the three major river systems, and selected inland lakes and reservoirs.
A brochure entitled, “Do Not Feed Waterfowl” outlines potential hazards of feeding waterfowl. The document is available on the DEEP website at: http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/wildlife/pdf_files/game/NoFeedWF.pdf.
source: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection