Wants To Ban Feeding The Ducks - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Wants To Ban Feeding The Ducks

Published May 10, 2011

A city exterminator recommends forbidding feeding the birds bread at the capital’s Tjörnin pond as a way of dealing with the seagull problem there.
Many city residents and visitors alike enjoy going to Tjörnin in summer weather to feed bread to the ducks, swans and geese which can be found there. However, the far less attractive and more ubiquitous seagulls also like to hang out there, often monopolising most of the bread people might toss out for prettier water fowl.
In a country home to many different species of birds, seagulls are probably the least enjoyed, and are in fact considered pests. How to keep them away from Tjörnin has been an issue raised every summer, with ideas ranging from shooting them to feeding them poisoned bread.
Vísir reports that a pest control specialist working for the city has recommended banning the tossing of bread to birds at the pond from April to September as the best way to reduce the number of seagulls there.
Ómar Dabney, the exterminator in question, said that the greed of seagulls is so bold that they are wont to take over sections of the pond where they see people tossing bread to other birds, and will sometimes steal bread right from the hands of children. While shooting seagulls, practised most recently in 2007, has been able to reduce their numbers somewhat, Ómar believes that the best way to ultimately get rid of them in the summer is to forbid people from tossing food to any of the birds there.
For those concerned about whether the birds will starve without people to feed them, he assures the general public that there is more than enough plant matter growing at and in the pond to keep these birds sustained. While feeding ducks at a pond might be a difficult activity for some people to give up, simply watching the birds could presumably also be fun.

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