Hudson Gardens’ diverse landscape and habitats make it an ideal home for a variety of feathered friends year-round.  During these warm summer months, guests to Hudson Gardens may have had the opportunity to meet some of the newest members of our flock, as our ducklings have started to explore the gardens with their parents. While certain species of ducks such as the Wood and Mallard ducks call Hudson Gardens home all year round, we also have Merganser, Canvasback and Northern Shoveler ducks who spend the fall and winter months with us.

Hudson Gardens provides an ample array of food sources for these ducks ranging from aquatic plants and algae, seeds and grains, larvae of flies, and other insects and invertebrates that are all found in the wild.

While it may be tempting to approach, feed and maybe even try to handle these amazing, feathered friends, or any animal at Hudson Gardens, we ask you to please remember that these are wild animals.  Observe them from a distance; be respectful of their habitat and please do not introduce any foreign items into their diets.  Things that may seem harmless can cause these animals great harm.  Feeding ducks bread and crackers actually causes more damage than good.  Bread is essentially candy for ducks as it is made up of “empty carbs”.  If a duck fills its diet with nothing but these “empty carbs” instead of nutritional natural foods, it can develop physical deformities such as “angel wing” and metabolic bone disease (MBD), which can be fatal.  Long and short of it is if you love wildlife:  Leave wildlife WILD!

Interested in learning more about our feathered friends that call Hudson Gardens and the surrounding area home?  Sign-up for one of our monthly bird walks, guided by an Audubon Master Birder at:

All photos ©Mike Gardinier 2023, A Hudson Gardens Volunteer