Common Name: Mallard, Mallard Duck
Scientific Name: Anas platyrhynchos
Because mallards are common in urban parks, many people visit the park to feed them bread, crackers, chips or other bread-like scraps. Feeding ducks bread is bad, however, because bread does not provide adequate nutrition. Bread is "junk food" to ducks and can cause unhealthy weight gain that will inhibit the birds' ability to fly properly, and poor nutrition can also lead to other health problems. Overfeeding bread, which is common at parks, can also attract rodents and lead to bacterial diseases as the bread rots and clogs the waterway.
Instead of feeding ducks bread, opt for more nutritional substitutes such as cracked corn, oats, birdseed, chopped vegetables or grape halves. These are fine options for what to feed ducks and will help provide them more suitable nutrition, particularly for young hatchlings.
Photo © Dalvenjah FoxFire