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Duck Feeding Causing Health, Traffic Issues
Many of the hundreds of ducks living near the MID canal where it crosses Morrill Road in Riverbank rush to greet visitors to their neighborhood despite the rain over the weekend, hoping to score some feed from visitors. City officials are frowning upon citizens feeding the ducks, citing traffic problems and health issues for the feathered friends, along with litter from both the birds and those feeding them. - photo by Ric McGinnis/ The News

Officials at the City of Riverbank have made a New Year’s resolution for you, one they’re hoping you’ll be able to keep.

The large flock of ducks that congregate near the Modesto Irrigation District canal where it crosses Morrill Road is creating a serious problem, well, several, really, city officials noted.

It is reported that Animal Control officers are having to retrieve a large volume of deceased ducks. They say that ducks are actually running toward vehicles on the street because they associate cars with people bringing them food. Without the fear of vehicles, these birds are also wandering into the busy thoroughfare, proving to be deadly to some of the ducks.

The presence of additional litter is more obvious, not only on the ground but in the waterway, officials said. Human food products such as bread, muffins, crackers, popcorn, etc. are not meant for bird consumption.

It is reported that a diet “high in calories and low in nutrition can lead to a condition in the birds known as ‘angel wing,’ an incurable deformity of the wing(s)” that leave the birds unable to fly.

Also, sources indicate, in mature birds, this harmful diet can lead to overweight, sickly birds unable to flee from predators and danger.

So, for the sake, safety and health of the ducks, officials request people stop feeding them.