Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joe Pinto reminds residents that feeding migratory waterfowl on Town property is prohibited and may result in a fine.
“Many people think they are helping migratory waterfowl, including ducks, geese, seagulls and swans, by feeding them, but in reality, they are not,” Councilman Pinto said. “Food handouts often result in large numbers of birds competing for very limited food supplies in small areas. Such crowding and competition for food, combined with less nutritious food and harsh weather, makes them vulnerable to life threatening diseases. Additionally, feeding waterfowl disturbs their migratory pattern and encourages them to linger, increasing the accumulation of droppings that can harm flora and fauna, along with water quality, and increasing the potential to spread disease. Residents should not feed the waterfowl at all, as bread, crackers, etc. amount to junk food for the fowl, offering little nutritional value and can lead to obesity and malnutrition.
As a result of these concerns and the potential nuisance these waterfowl pose, the Town has established a local law that prohibits the feeding of any waterfowl throughout Town Property, with violations potentially resulting in a fine of at least $100.
Most importantly, it is essential for residents to understand that the best course of action in helping the waterfowl is to abstain from feeding them. Councilman Pinto stated “Large colonies of waterfowl gather at many of our beaches and parks. It is more humane not to feed them, as elimination of feeding is a significant step toward prevention of nuisance waterfowl.”