Bird feeding gone wrong is apparently a thing in a central New York town.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a 71-year-old resident of the Village of Sodus Point three times between May 26 and June 10 for feeding birds in a manner that violates a village ordinance. The Village of Sodus Point is a separate municipality within the city of Sodus in central New York near Lake Ontario.
The ordinance states that residents cannot have more than two bird feeders on their property and each must be at least five feet from the ground. In the June 10 incident, police said the man had 23 bird feeders on the ground in the front yard of his home, according to incident reports provided by the sheriff’s department.
In each of the earlier incidents, the man had more than 20 bird feeders out.
But what the incident reports don’t state is that these aren’t traditional bird feeders: the man is accused of placing cookie sheets filled with bird seed and peanuts on the ground, Wayne County Sheriff Rob Milby told USA TODAY.
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County officers have responded to the man’s home because of numerous complaints from neighbors several times over more than a year, he said.
His bird feeding approach “not only attracts birds, but it attracts every other creature within quite a distance, including herds of deer, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, everything,” Milby said. “It’s causing a problem in the neighborhood as far as a quality of life with the other residents.”
The man could not be reached for comment.
But he told the Finger Lakes Times, that his manner of feeding the wildlife doesn’t create problems, such as attracting mice, for his neighbors.
Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell told the Finger Lake Times he is constantly getting emails and complaints about the man’s practices attracting mice and other animals and creating a nuisance.
That’s led to the arrests by the sheriff’s department. “He’s causing a nuisance in the neighborhood,” Milby said.
The man has previously paid fines for violating the ordinance, the Finger Lakes Times reported. The three tickets he was issued recently, which carry a $250 fine or 15 days in jail, are pending in Sodus Town Court, the Times reported.
The most recent incident report states the man is to appear in court on June 22.
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