Waterfowl deaths at Lake Henderson still undetermined


As the cause of death is still being determined, this “mortality event” is not unknown and occurs frequently during the winter.

Coreen Putman of the Helen Schuler Nature Center says we see this almost every winter.

“At Henderson, we have kind of variable ice conditions. And so on as the ice expands and the open water shrinks. One of the things that happens is that the waterfowl that use Henderson Lake simply have less open water to share. You know, certainly, in this overcrowding, I think we can all the times that you don’t think, even with humans, it’s the same kind of stress that happens. So, you know, since these people are really overcrowded, there may be less food available.

The city says the lake’s ice instability makes it unsafe for staff to remove waterfowl at this time.

Putman also cites that feeding Lake Henderson birds can lead to overpopulation of species and negatively impact the ecosystem.

“So artificial feeding by people usually looks like things like bread or crackers or popcorn or things that really don’t have high nutritional value for these animals. And so the birds enter the winter season with very poor nutrition and poor health.

“So some of these birds that you know, while we have colder weather that would normally cause them to move a bit further south, they’re actually not able to engage in that migration at that time because they’re not healthy enough to be able to do that.

Residents are reminded not to feed waterfowl, as this provides them with a substantial lack of nutrition, can delay migration, and lead to overcrowding of waterfowl habitats.


Comments are closed.