Please Do Not Feed Waterfowl

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Do Not Feed Waterfowl signage

Why shouldn't I feed the ducks?

Allow Harrisonburg’s ducks to return to their natural habits.

Please do not feed waterfowl, but do enjoy and watch waterfowl from afar. 

 Along Blacks Run, there is an overpopulation of waterfowl as a direct result of human feeding. This has created large concentrations of ducks to become dependent on human feeding versus natural food in their habitat. 


Feeding waterfowl on a regular basis can:

  • Cause poor nutrition 
  • Pollute the waters
  • Delay or eliminate migration 
  • Overcrowd birds
  • Spread disease
  • Increase the management and clean-up efforts
  • Create unnatural behavior
  • Weaken the gene pool


If humans shouldn't feed waterfowl, what will they eat?

In Harrisonburg, waterfowl have plenty of natural food to consume, such as:

  • Worms
  • Plant matter
  • Roots
  • Stems
  • Beetles
  • Dragonflies
  • Seeds
  • Crustaceans
  • Aquatic vegetation
  • Flies
  • Moths

Over population of ducksThe human food being fed to waterfowl is corn, bread, popcorn, and cat food. These food items are low in protein and not natural for the ducks, which creates poorly developed ducks. 

Waterfowl are also highly susceptible to metabolic bone disease, which is developed from a nutritional imbalance and deficiencies. 

The waste, produced by waterfowl, pollutes Blacks Run. With an unnatural number of ducks, that exceeds the normal capacity, the amount of waste will only worsen the quality of Blacks Run.

Please help in Harrisonburg’s effort to "Keep WILDlife WILD” and protect and conserve our natural resources!



Keep Wildlife Wild

PDF[403KB] Keep WILDlife Wild flyers


Questions? Contact the Harrisonburg Public Works, Stream Health Coordinator, at 540-434-5928 or