Where have all the ducks gone? They are like most of our wildlife that is declining – they are suffering from human interference.
Ducklings live on insects for the first three or four weeks of their life and there just aren’t enough insects around for them to survive and grow up.
We have too many houses, too many tar roads and every car on the road is a fly swatter. We also spray our crops with chemicals, some of those chemicals starve the insects and some of them kill them. Nearly everyone is at war with insects.
Some of you might say there are plenty around but I know when I was a boy there would be up to 50 flies in the kitchen. My wife hasn’t had to ask me to kill a fly lately because there haven’t been any at all in the house.
There are also too many foxes around – they get some of the ducks on the nest and they also kill some of the ducklings.
There are too many foxes around because so many pheasants are reared and those reared pheasants are only half sharp, easy prey for the cunning fox and any species of bird or animal that has a surplus of food will increase in numbers. Another example is the human race – we also have a surplus of food. There are huge numbers of pheasants reared because city people earn so much money and some of that money is spent on shooting pheasants.
If we want to see a lot of birds there has to be a lot of birds reared and many species of birds are unable to rear a full brood or even a second brood because there are just not enough insects around.
Deeping St Nicholas