Bird feeding pits neighbor against neighbor

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Mar 07 2013 07:36:18 AM HST

Lots of squawking in Hawaii communities. Not necessarily from birds, but from the people sick of battling neighbors who constantly feed them.

HONOLULU -

In Kona, it's wild turkeys.

In  Pearl City it's pigeons, and in Kailua, it's ducks.

They have one thing in common: they follow the food.

To some, the ducks add to the charm of the neighborhood.

But the mess they leave behind is too much for some to take.

 Michelle Woodward lives around the corner.

She used to feed the ducks, but gave it up when neighbors complained.

 "I don’t think I want to be restricted. I should be consciences, and I was. I tried to be," said Woodward.

 In Pearl City the issue has caused distress for residents on Hoohulu Street.

 "I love animals," said Raymond Raposa.

 His neighbors say that's the problem.

 "I don't have a bird problem. I have a neighbor problem," Raposa fired back.

 After 12 years of enduring the birds, Shigeto Mukai just wants some relief.

 "If you live on a farm where the neighbors are far but when the houses are close like this you need to have consideration for others," said Mukai.

New legislation is underway to stop bird feeding when it becomes a public nuisance and a potential health hazard.

 “This legislation is really a last resort. It’s an effort to resolve this problem and make conditions more bearable,” said Rep. Gregg Takayama.

 "Nothing against the birds but when it starts causing problems for the neighbors that's when you should be considerate enough to stop," said Florence Tanaka whose parents used to live next door.

Raposa says he has cut back. The birds he now feeds, he says live on his property, and he is taking steps to even curtail that.

 "There is going to be a time when I won't have any pidgeons in my work shop," said Raposa.

The bird bill makes it violation to feed the birds on private property and if the problem persists, it becomes a misdemeaner subject to fines.

 House lawmakers have advanced the measure.

The bill is awaiting a hearing in the senate.

 

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