On Tuesday, the city of Orlando will install three swan feeders at Lake Eola in an effort curb people feeding swans the wrong food, which can make them sick. Feeding the swans food such as bread or popcorn can lead them to become sick and even develop a syndrome known as angel wing.

Angel wing is a syndrome that affects aquatic birds and is due to a high-protein or high-calorie diet.

It is incurable in adults and results in the birds’ flight feathers to twist and protrude from its wings at odd angles instead of lying against the body. In extreme cases, the stripped feathers may appear as blue straw protruding from the wings.

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The high-protein and high-calorie diet causes waterfowl to grow faster than their wing bones can develop. Excess stress on the weak muscles attached to the wing bones is caused from the weight of the growing flight feathers. This causes the wing to develop unnaturally and twisted.

Typically, the disease leads to death as the bird affected won’t be able to fly. If the bird is young enough, it can be treated by having its wing wrapped and bound against its flank in addition to consuming a more natural diet.

These new feeders at Lake Eola will offer pellets that are safe and nutritious for the swans to eat and everyone visiting is encouraged to use them. If you do not wish to use the feeders, here are other approved foods you can feed them: lettuce, loose field greens, spinach leaves and duck pellet food (can be purchased at any local pet food store). Two feeders will be located near the playground area and one near the Ting Pavilion.

For more information about the swans of Lake Eola, visit the city’s official website.


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