Tuesday, November 13, 2007


NYC Taxpayers May Soon Be Funding 'Pigeon Czar'
If Politician Has Way, You'll Pay Big For Feeding Birds

By Dave Carlin, CBS 2 HD News
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Too many pigeons in New York City.

One solution, slap the hand that feeds them with a $1,000 fine.

As CBS 2 HD has learned, it's all part of a plan that also creates one strange new city position.

Don't feed the pigeons … or else. A new pigeon plan is in the works that includes the creation of -- get this -- a pigeon czar.

New York City is a smorgasbord for pigeons, but something could break that bread line.

"We hope people who are spending their time collecting old bread from bakeries to feed pigeons to poop on your head will stop," Councilman Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn, said.

Felder wants pigeon feeders to pay. His plan is modeled after one in London where the fine is $1,000, to minimize the fluttering and flinging of filth.

All over New York there are places that are virtual bird buffets. Pigeons scramble to get snacks out of horse feed buckets in Central Park. What is there to do about this problem? Maybe one day soon we'll get to ask the pigeon czar.

"Whether it is a pigeon warden a pigeon czar you can call him or her, whatever you want," Felder said.

But some say creating a new layer of city government is for the birds.

"It's more money and funding the taxpayers have to pay," David Mandelbaum said.

The pigeon czar's salary hasn't been worked out yet, but Councilman Felder says the cost would be minimal because sanitation workers could do the job.

Pigeon enthusiast Albert Sima says the city should forget about plans to bring hawks and falcons to scare pigeons away. He says the city tried that before and it didn't work. What he likes is the councilman's proposal to put out pigeon feed that is packed with birth control.

"As long as it doesn't harm the animal," Sima said.

He says the city can try, but history shows us you'll never get the pigeons of New York City to fly the coop.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he hopes New Yorkers get the message loud and clear to stop feeding the pigeons.

You can also help out by making sure lids on garbage cans are secure.

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