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8/17/2013 3:16:00 PM
Too many ducks, not enough food, at Verde Village pond
Pam Brannon believes the flock of ducks and geese at the Verde Village Pond has grown in recent years due people disposing of birds in the pond. She suspects that some people acquire the birds as chicks, but no longer want to care for then when they have grown large and then add them to the Del Rio flock. VVN/Jon Hutchinson
Pam Brannon believes the flock of ducks and geese at the Verde Village Pond has grown in recent years due people disposing of birds in the pond. She suspects that some people acquire the birds as chicks, but no longer want to care for then when they have grown large and then add them to the Del Rio flock. VVN/Jon Hutchinson
Pam Brannon and her sister, Sherry, have been feeding the birds each day during the past six months with bread crumbs and excess produce they are able to collect. But they are looking for more support. VVN/Jon Hutchinson
Pam Brannon and her sister, Sherry, have been feeding the birds each day during the past six months with bread crumbs and excess produce they are able to collect. But they are looking for more support. VVN/Jon Hutchinson

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter


Two Verde Village women are worried about the ducks in the pond just off Del Rio Drive.

They say the birds are no longer wild and there is not enough natural vegetation and other material for the birds to thrive on their own.

People need to help feed them, the women believe.

Pam Brannon and her sister, Sherry, have been feeding the birds each day during the past six months with bread crumbs and excess produce they are able to collect. But they are looking for more support. Pam believes the domestic birds cannot feed themselves easily and they will not survive without human intervention. She says, "They will starve without help."

Brannon believes the flock has grown in recent years due people disposing of birds in the pond. The birds come in all colors. Pam points to some light tan ducks. She believes about 15 of those birds were abandoned recently. She suspects that some people acquire the birds as chicks, but no longer want to care for then when they have grown large and then add them to the Del Rio flock. "I am always seeing a new duck or two here or there."

The pond was originally created by the developer Queen Creek Land and Cattle to attract property sales. It was built in a low area where rain water naturally collected. The area was deepened to about 16 feet, the bottom lined with plastic and river water pumped to create the lake.

A former member of the Verde Village Property Owners Association, Pam believes that, at one time the VVPOA had the all the ducks and geese removed, but the population eventually returned.

Neighbors who live near the pond and other Verde Village folks have fed the ducks and geese over the years, but then they move on or grow tired of it.

Some birds, she believes, have been injured by kids. Pam recently took one bird to a vet to be euthanized. Others have been killed while crossing the Del Rio Drive.

Pam says, "Those of us who care about animals grieve to see them starve."

She is making these requests.

1. Donors to provide food, especially cracked corn, flock raiser, discarded produce, bread, unsugared cereal

2. Volunteers to feed them.

3. Requesting people to stop dropping off new birds.

4. People who now keep ducks and geese to rescue some from the pond and take them home. They are pretty easy to catch while feeding.

5. Drivers to slow down and be cautious while approaching the pond as not to hit them.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013
Article comment by: Bad Analogy?

@ Bad Analogy

The bad analogy is calling Wall St. Banksters, "destitute ducks". Since when can anyone working (lying, cheating, stealing, defrauding) on Wall St be called "destitute"?

I think it's safe to say that the Fat Ducks on Wall St. can buy all the politicians they need and still continue shi//ing on everyone else!

Where do you think the fascist Republicans get all their money? You don't think Corporate Lobbyists pay millions in bribes so the Republicans can make sure the playing field is level, do you?


Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2013
Article comment by: Bad analogy

"ducks are like Wall St. Banksters demanding TARP money"

Destitute ducks can't buy politicians.


Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Your right Mav Rick

It definitely is like a political Greek TRAGEDY. The ducks are like Wall St. Banksters demanding TARP money to save their world and instead of being grateful they just keep shi//ing on everyone, everywhere. Yet Republicans just want more and more Corporate Welfare!

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Article comment by: Mav Rick

Don't want to make this TRAGEDY political but it seems this is the way of our country. A messiah and his followers. Give it freely and they will come.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Gather them up for Thanksgivings.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Bubba Lishis

I have to agree, STOP FEEDING THEM! What give these women the right to feed ducks. I spot most of these ducks flying to the river during the day, to do what ducks do best. Then toward evening, they fly back to the pond to be feed by these ill or uninformed women. These women don't have lives?, so therefore the fowl will go afowl.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Article comment by: Clean em up and Butcher em!

And with some citrus donated from local markets…

Come one, come all, free Duck a l'Orange at Riverfront Park!

If drop-offs are encouraged, this could be SUSTAINABLE!!!


Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Stop feeding them NOW!

Listen to the more educated people here. Stop feeding them. I never understood why parents give their children chicks and fowl for Easter presents only to discard them later. PITIFUL! Anyways, they like any dog or cat are going to go where the food is! STOP FEEDING THEM! They have a natural instinct to find food and if they have become domesticated, then maybe it is time for our wildlife personnel to step up.

VVPOA is a joke. I have a guy down the street from me with a full fledged business of painting cars in his driveway. With spray off blowing all around the neighborhood! VVPOA won't do anything about it. They only step in when it fills their pockets.


Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Hunter guy

Has anyone thought about contacting Game and Fish regarding these nuisance birds? The VVPOA should inform the residents to first off stop feeding the birds, and then contact a Game Warden to see what the best course of action would be. That pond is disgusting, relocating them to the Verde could potentially introduce unwanted parasites to the watershed

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Domestic Drop offs

By looking at the ducks, these are all domestic drop-offs. Step one is to stop dropping off more. Step two is to allow folks who like to eat duck grab one or two and eat them, although on a diet of bread and junk they probably won't taste very good. Better still, grab a few, feed them some corn and THEN process them for food.
They Won't fly away as most domesticate ducks don't migrate and really can't fly very far as in a few yards.
Thin the flock either for meat or for pets and prevent continued drop offs. Bread is the worst and most useless food you can feed a duck. They need grasses and grains to be truly healthy. Bread alone causes liver problems and eventual starvation because it contains very little nutritional value. It is only a filler like chips are to us.

I raise poultry for a living. They call me the bird lady for a reason. 40+ years. Whomever controls the pond, get rid of the ducks if they are a problem. If I knew who to contact, I'd take em, clean em up with good food and butcher them, donating the birds to the local food pantry.

Lu Parker
Hens Nest Farm, Bridgeport.


Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Margaret Paddock

Perhaps the danger of automobiles could be helped if VVPOA residents would work with the association to find out if a road sign could be placed advising of the wildlife area.

Also, it may be people across the street are putting out food which encourages the ducks to cross the road. If so I encourage them to stop for the safety of all.

It is nice to have the wildlife there, but encouraging them in the wrong ways is not wise.

Other suggestions of not feeding to encourage them to forage elsewhere is sensible. They will return when they want or need to. The non wild ducks will probably fly with the others and learn how to forage for their food also. They are smarter than most people think.


Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Give a duck a fish...

I knew a couple with a swimming pool whose kids fed a couple of ducks who came down for a rest. They soon had a regular clientele looking for a meal. And a very dirty pool.

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013
Article comment by: Bird Brains

Don't feed them and they will leave for greener pastures!

Of the 5 requests made, the first four are recipes for disaster. DON'T DO IT!!!!

P.S. Maybe instead of dropping off baby ducks at the pond, people should drop off baby piranhas or snapping turtles! (just kidding{?})


Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Um no no no!

No, none of the above mentioned ideas are good. Except for watching out for the birds. This woman is not trained in wildlife nor animal husbandry, and while her intentions may be good are ill advised. Perhaps the flock has acquired a discarded Easter gift a time or two but it's also grown because of the natural order of life. Taking wildlife without permits is illegal. And if she is concerned with the birds becoming too domesticated for their own good she needs to stop feeding them like her own personal flock!

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2013
Article comment by: Um Well

You know that ducks, geese, and such fly right? Many are migratory even. Might this be the cause for the fluctuation in population? Maybe southern waterfowl come here in the summer, and northern waterfowl stay here for the winter? Are you aware of all the species of waterfowl whose migratory corridor includes the duck pond?




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