The sand and water at Kal Beach is littered with duck carcasses as the feathered fowl are dying from a fungus caused by eating field seeds.

The sand and water at Kal Beach is littered with duck carcasses as the feathered fowl are dying from a fungus caused by eating field seeds.

Influx of dead ducks surface at Kal

Duck carcasses are scattered across Coldstream beaches and parks.

Duck carcasses are scattered across Coldstream beaches and parks.

Upwards of 20 dead ducks have surfaced in and around Kal Beach, littering the water, sand, nearby boat launch parking lot, other lakefront areas and even blocking the dam flowing into Vernon Creek.

The number of fallen feathered friends has prompted upwards of 30 calls in the past month to the local Conservation Officer Service.

But officials assure that the birds are not purposely being killed off.

“It’s not a pesticide or poison or anything like that,” said Sgt. Joshua Lockwood, North Okanagan operation supervisor.

“It’s a natural occurrence for this time of year.”

The deaths are caused when ducks eat wet seed heads with a fungus called aspergillus on it.

“This is typically seen at this time of year.”

Lockwood suspects ducks are ingesting the fungus while eating remnants of wet, mowed down crops in the area which have grown the fungus.

Now that snow and cooler temperatures are  settling back over the area, Lockwood suspects fewer ducks will be dying off.

“The dead ducks should decrease now that everything is frozen solid,” said Lockwood.

Two samples have been sent to the provincial veterinarian for testing, to confirm the fungus, but results aren’t expected back for up to six weeks.

In the meantime, residents with dead ducks in their yards or on their beach are asked to dispose of them safely.