‘Don’t feed the waterfowl’

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019

There are mixed emotions when it comes to the newest sign posted at the fountain in the Middlesboro City Parking Lot. The sign reads: “Please do not feed waterfowl” and there are some who are supporting it and others who are opposing it.

The population of Muscovy and other species of ducks has continued to grow and Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson is trying to deter the feeding of the waterfowl so the ducks will migrate to another location.

The sign placed at the fountain states the following:

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• Feeding concentrates large numbers of birds in a small area;

• Bird droppings can cause sanitation problems and poor water quality;

• Human food can be unhealthy for birds;

• Concentrations of waterfowl can lead to disease outbreaks.

“Feeding attracts large concentrations of waterfowl to the area, and we can’t support the large numbers,” Nelson said. “When the food supply depletes in the one location, they will fly to new feeding areas and that is what we are trying to do.”

Those who support it state the ducks leave a mess and also cause concerns when parking in that area near the canal. Those who are opposing the sign say it is an activity that children in the community enjoy.

“We understand that children enjoy feeding them but they are a sanitation problem and also contribute to poor water quality,” said Nelson. “Children can come into contact with the droppings that are left in the area, and that is dangerous to their health.”

Feeding the ducks encourages unnaturally large flocks to gather in one place, and that is the concern prompting the placement of the sign.

Nelson wants to encourage anyone in the community that if you have any ideas on how to control the population of ducks at the city parking lot to please contact him at City Hall or send the city council a message on Facebook.

To contact Mayor Nelson at City Hall you can call 248-5670 or visit their Facebook page at The City of Middlesboro.