Watch out for our ducks

Watch out for our ducks

Bryce Peterson captured this image of ducks and ducklings while walking his dog at Morning Cloud Park in Willetton.

If you’ve seen a sharp spike in the number of feathery friends wandering across our roads, you’re not the only one: duck nesting season is officially on.

The increase in duck movements, as well as the birth of many little ducklings, means that ducks in and around Canning’s waterways will be more active over upcoming months.

South East Regional Centre for Urban Landcare (SERCUL) education manager Natasha Brown said people need to be aware of where ducks nest, which can be anywhere from on riverbanks to in shrubs.

“At this time of year many ducks and ducklings are travelling from their nest to our waterways,” she said.

“Ducks can breed and nest in trees, reeds or under dense foliage in bushland or even peoples gardens.

“From now until around November, they will be on the move to the nearest wetland or waterbody which means they may need to cross roads to reach their destination.

“This puts them at risk from passing traffic and predators like birds, cats and dogs.”

Ms Brown said it was best to keep dogs on leashes when at parks with water bodies at this time of year to prevent them from chasing and harassing ducks and ducklings.

“When ducks are crossing the road do not attempt to physically help them cross the road as this may lead to injuries to yourself from passing traffic or could cause the family of ducklings to become frightened and separated from one another,” she said.

“If they are causing a direct danger to themselves or drivers then police should be called to direct traffic. To report sick or injured ducks or other wildlife, call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Ms Brown also urged people to not feed ducks bread, as it could make them sick and change their feeding behaviours.

“A duck that only eats bread can develop malnutrition and disease as only one type of food is being eaten,” she said.

“Bread does not contain the right balance of nutrients to keep ducks alive and if they become reliant on being fed they can starve when there is no bread around for them to eat as they no longer know how to access their natural sources of food.“