Thursday, April 20, 2006

A wee bit too much birdseed?

Today's Los Angeles Times carries the story of a woman who refuses to stop spreading seed in Hollywood. Her behavior might seem harmless... except that she distributes hundreds of pounds of seed every morning, attracting Rock Pigeons galore. Naturally, their droppings decorate sidewalks, cars and buildings.

City officials have tried to persuade the "Bird Lady" to leave her 25-pound bags of seed at home, but she refuses, leading to lots of refuse for other people to dodge and deal with daily.

The woman seems to believe that the pigeons will die if she doesn't provide seed. She's wrong, and she's not doing the birds or birders any favors by engendering this conflict. Her behavior could lead nonbirders to look at birders unfavorably.

Is it possible for a birder from, say, Los Angeles Audubon Society to find the Bird Lady during her early-morning rounds at Argyle Avenue and Yucca Street and talk some sense into her?

Rock Pigeon courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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