Photographer's Note

Though ducks are omnivorous, their diets can range from primarily vegetarian to mostly carnivorous. Even ducks that are primarily herbivores will switch to a diet of mostly invertebrates just before breeding. During the winter, wild ducks maintain their regular diets while on migration paths.

Wild rice is a staple in the diet of most wild ducks. According to Outdoor Life, "biologists report that ducks eat it at every stage of their growth, with almost all of them feeding on its ripe grain." Other plants, such as sago pond weed and smartweed, attract ducks with their seeds, roots and tubers. In southern regions, ducks have adapted to eat hydrilla, due to the plant's thriving abundance.

Ducks also feed on invertebrates, fish and fish eggs, says the Humane Society of the United States. Diving ducks may even catch mollusks and crustaceans.

Feeding wild ducks bread and crackers can lead to fatty and enlarged organs and malnutrition. Feeding also leads to ducks becoming more reliant on humans for survival, which leads to new risks and hazards for the birds.
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Additional Photos by Daniel Draghici (dkmurphys) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5733 W: 83 N: 11524] (77042)
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