We all love animals, but sometimes, what we think of as helpful might actually have the opposite effect. Whether you actively feed our park’s pigeons or just leave your leftover food for the pigeons to find, feeding pigeons has serious consequences for the birds, the people who use the park, and the park itself.
Here are 4 reasons you shouldn’t feed the pigeons.
It actually hurts the birds!
Pigeons have to maintain their natural ability to scavenge and find food for themselves. When they are fed by people, they lose that ability and become dependent on people for their survival.
The bread you throw feeds rats too.
Rats sustain themselves through food scraps, and burrow into parks where they find a steady supply. Let’s get the rats out of downtown Providence!
Overfeeding creates a health hazard for both pigeons and people.
Overfed flocks of pigeons multiply at an unnatural rate. Large flocks unable to sustain their population suffer from disease and starvation. Large numbers of pigeons also pose serious health risks to the general public. Pigeon droppings can cause human diseases like Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis and Psittacosis. Ew.
Bread is not a healthy source of nutrition for birds.
White bread contains none of the fats and proteins pigeons need to sustain their daily health and energy. Pieces of bread that are too large can potentially cause digestive blockages. Also, bread left outside quickly develops mold, which makes birds ill.
Next time you have stale bread in your kitchen, spare the birds and use that bread to make some bread crumbs, croutons, or delicious bread pudding! Together we can keep our animals healthy and our parks clean.