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Fines for feeding Oyster Bay waterfowl

Canada geese and a pair of snow geese

Canada geese and a pair of snow geese feed in Mill Pond in Wantagh. (Oct. 22, 2010) Credit: Celia Talbot Tobin

The town of Oyster Bay is reminding residents that feeding migratory waterfowl on town property is illegal -- and, more importantly, not the benevolent act one might think.

Under town law a violation can draw fines of anywhere from $100 to $500.

Feeding the waterfowl, such as ducks, geese, seagulls and swans, disrupts their migratory pattern and results in large numbers of birds competing for a limited amount of food in a concentrated area. The concentration of droppings can also affect water quality.

“Even with the extraordinarily snowy and cold weather we have been experiencing recently, people are not doing the waterfowl any favors by feeding them, especially popular bread, as well as similar products such as crackers, chips, doughnuts and popcorn,” Oyster Bay Town Councilman Chris J. Coschignano said in a recent news release. “While they are a great source of carbohydrates, they offer little nutritional value and can lead to obesity and malnutrition. They amount to junk food for the fowl.”

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