The unusually harsh winter has left some migratory birds fighting for survival. The cold, snow, and ice have affected the food supply to ducks on Long Island.
So that is why Southampton Town Trustee Scott Horowitz and other volunteers are pitching in to help feed some of nature's most vulnerable, specifically the black and broad-bill ducks that normally call Long Island home during the winter.
Who knew ducks ate food other than bread? They actually eat dry kernels of corn. Normally it's not a good idea to promote feeding waterfowl but because the waterways have been iced over, expert Craig Kessler says an exception needs to be made.
Now these ducks are getting ready to migrate back north within a few weeks to points as far as eastern Canada. They will stay there for the warm months and then be back in the fall with hopefully the next generation. But that is something experts say is more unlikely this year because of how stressed they've been.
Other migratory birds such as the American robin are also said to be at risk because their primary food source, earthworms, are covered in snow and ice. The last time people pitched in to help the ducks was back in the 1970s. Winters since then have been described as more mild.
The food distribution is anticipated to last until spring officially arrives.