Feral bird feeding law enforcement may not fly

Published On: Jul 10 2013 07:02:36 AM HST

It's dinner time at the pigeon house in Waikiki.

"I'm just continuing what my mother started years ago, and she loved the birds so I kinda take care of them," said Waikiki resident Monica Blum.

Waikiki residents been taking care of these wild birds for decades by putting out feed each evening.

Up to 40 pounds of food for the hundreds who now fly in for the feast.

"There didn't used to be this many," said Blum.

This flurry of feathers and feasting has even become an attraction for some in Waikiki.

"All the tourists love it, I think these birds have been all over the world by now," said Blum. "Nobody complains about them. Most people like it"

In other parts of the island, feeding of feral birds has become a problem. So much so that a bill was passed and signed into law allowing neighbors to alert the Department of Health to all those bird droppings and odors created from feedings.

But putting an end to the flocks of feasting fowl may be difficult. Vector control workers normally focus on rats or mosquitoes, which have the potential to transmit disease.

"As much of a nuisance bird dropping are, they are not associated with transmission of disease with humans. It doesn't cause illness, so it is not going to be the highest priority for the Department of Health to respond to," said Department of Health Deputy Director Gary Gill.

There are also only a few of those vector control workers, so the department plans instead to respond to complaints from afar.

"Sending letters and phone calls, like we do now. But the bill doesn't give us any additional authority to take enforcement action than we have now," said Gill.

The new bill also doesn't spell out specific fines or punishments for those who break the law. The bird bill just leaves things up in the air when it comes to how it will be enforced.


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