If you’ve walked around North Pond recently, you may have noticed this goose. It’s suffering from a condition known as Angel Wing Syndrome.
Angel Wing is a condition that affects mostly waterfowl, caused by a nutritional deficiency in vitamins and minerals combined with a high level of carbohydrates and sugars. While a number of factors are involved, human-fed bread is one of the probable causes. It causes the carpal joint (or wrist) on the wing to grow awkwardly, leaving the wing unable to sit flush at the bird’s side. This affects their ability to fly and the growth of their primary flight feathers — making them look more like sticks than feathers.
Damage in fully mature birds is irreversible and likely fatal, due to the inability to fly to food sources and rejection from their flocks. If the bird is young and the diet changes dramatically, however, the damage could be reversed.
Although there are more nutritional foods that humans can provide (like non-moldy cracked corn, wheat, barley or standard birdseed), geese and ducks are grazers and have no trouble finding food on their own. In fact, feeding them can create an unnatural and unhealthy dependence on us as their food providers, and can lead to other problems, like overcrowding and water pollution.
Help keep our waterfowl happy and healthy by spreading the word about the dangers of feeding them bread and crackers. You can download the image below and share it on your own social media channels to help educate your friends, family and neighbors.
Gavy Padilla says
I hate when people feed waterfowl bread it makes me really mad ! but its good
that people like you are letting people know about the importance of bread and what it does to the poor animals ! I just told a person just about this and they were shocked and the said they will never feed waterfowl bread again !
Kinda Unfair to get mad at people who just don’t know better
We had signs at our local pond and I pointed out to a guy feeding bread, he said “so”. That’s society today.
JULIE L. MERRITT says
Awesome to know. THANK YOU
Tim J Mcreynolds says
Can you trim or cut the Angel wing off
Bob brown says
No , it will bleed where the blood flows to the bottom of the feathers.
So, has anyone called the wildlife hospital or a facility that can help to help this goose/duck?
I volunteer with a wildlife rehab network. Adult birds with angel wing are always euthanized, so consider what “help” means to you–euthanasia, or a natural death in the wild where other wildlife can benefit (such as by providing a meal for a fox for example).
Nature can seem cruel, but it’s the way life is meant to be and the best thing we can do for them is to leave them alone.
“Fed wildlife is dead wildlife” no matter how you look at it.
Can angel wings happen on a rooster?
I don’t think so because I feed my chickens corn and watermelon and they don’t have angel wing