Bird feeding

This came in from Helen Marshall:

And you thought you’d heard the worst!  I am trying to find out who and what the devil this is all about.

Your tax dollars at work!!!
Begin forwarded message:


The City of El Paso, Environmental Services Department, is looking at a change 
to Title 7 of the City Code to, among many other things, prohibit some feeding 
of wild birds on private property.  The proposal was presented at public 
meetings on April 30 and May 14.  Another public meeting is scheduled for June 4 
at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers.  The slide in the presentation is labeled 
“Add a section to address the feeding of certain animals that create common 
nuisances.”  The two photographs on the slide refer to birds.  Ms. 
Rodriquez-Hefner, the presenter, only talked about bird feeding.  She mentioned 
too many birds and old seed.  She also said some people are allergic and some 
have asthma.  She did say they “are not talking about a single bird feeder.” The City staff have not yet drafted suggested wording.  The public meetings are 
to gather public input and attitudes before the ordinances are drafted by the 
Legal Department and submitted to City Council for enactment. This effort apparently comes from complaints by neighbors (we know the details 
of one complaint) about bird feeding being a nuisance.  At present, the code 
applies only to kept, caged, or controlled animals, not wild birds. 

The Board of the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society is strongly opposed to any 
restrictions on feeding wild birds on private residential property.  Wild bird 
feeding is widely practiced in El Paso and is supported by numerous 
organizations.  Is the complaint of a cranky neighbor enough to harass a person 
feeding birds?  Which bird species?  How many birds is too many?  Do health 
concerns have any scientific basis for persons marginally exposed to wild birds?

The Environmental Services Department has said they want to hear from the 
public.  If you have an opinion, please make it known. 


9 Responses to Bird feeding

  1. U says:

    Guess we will need to tear down bridges and buildings over one story because them birds flock to these structures.


  2. Tweety says:

    The whole idea of this change is for the birds. On second thought, I guess not.


  3. archaic578 says:

    Is the common pigeon a wild bird? My neighbors created an open aviary where the pigeons could rest in the shade and were also feeding them. Soon there were 50 + pigeons flying around my yard, resting on my window sills, pooping on my car and the cement driveway leading to the front door. I complained to animal control and the neighbors were told they could not do what they were doing. They now have the house up for sale. They also had five or six very noisy untrained little dogs who barked at everything 24/7. I complained about that also. Thank you animal control. These folks who want to do this they should buy a large piece of property in the county and not in the city.


  4. desertratjim says:

    I guess we will have to quit putting out our hummingbird feeders too! Sometimes I wonder who thinks of all these hair-brained ideas at City Hall.
    Another change in Title 7 that has been proposed is to no longer require microchipping of pets in El Paso. The argument is that people are not registering their pet’s microchip number so if the pet is found, the national registry does not know who the animal belongs to. Thus, the found animal never gets reunited with its owner and still ends up at Animal Control for euthanasia. An easy solution to this problem is to have all veterinary clinics who microchip the animals register the animals for the owners. Instead, our City fathers just want to scrap the program altogether.
    If people are concerned about allergies, we know that Mulberry trees have been banned from being sold in El Paso because they are so allergenic, yet numerous El Paso School District schools have Mulberry trees planted on school property. Why haven’t those trees been replaced? The logic exhibited in our community sometimes astounds me!


    • epkamikazi says:

      DRJ- As someone else said why create ordinances you can’t (or won’t) enforce? The current ordinance (and the intent) was that Vets would report microchips to the city and the city updates THEIR microchip database… the city uses a non-compatible software that doesn’t allow the Vets to send the data digitally nor are they willing to provide access to their databases (which are proprietary) to the city. So, rather than hire a data entry person to update the database, it has been historically behind (about 2 years) so what the city does is have a person contact the Vet who placed the microchip and ask them to identify the owner/pet.

      So the city has taken the “passing unenforceable ordinances” to the next level!


  5. homeowner777 says:

    Why create laws that cannot be enforced ?
    WIld birds eat outdoor cat & dog food.
    Well, that’s every other house !


    • Actually, it’s not, but pigeons certainly will land anywhere they want, and spend time pecking about. I suppose that would be considered “feeding” wild birds, wouldn’t it? What a waste of time.


      • archaic578 says:

        Wikipedia says feral pigeons are descendants of domesticated ones. They eat seeds, fruit and plants and flock and nest together. Often dozens will share a building. This is what happened in the case of my next door neighbor. So I will be giving my input to Environmental Services as I want to support wild birds and wildlife but I want to have provision for wild birds like pigeons that can become pests and also carry diseases. This is a complex issue and not a waste of time.


        • Helen Marshall says:

          Agree about pigeons! And feeding feral cats should also be stopped. The current practice of trapping and neutering these cats and then returning them to the neighborhood so they can continue to kill and eat birds and small animals is also a mystery to me. Apparently the public gets upset if feral cats are euthanized, but not if birds are killed – millions every year.


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