NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Birds have ruffled feathers in a quiet Long Island neighborhood.
Ocean Avenue residents in Seaford told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff that they love animals but the situation on their street is for the birds.
The owner of a boat yard has been feeding the animals with five gallons of cornmeal every day. Truckloads of birdseed have been delivered to his home a couple of times a week, residents said.
“He’s got huge bags that every morning he spreads all over the place. There are hundreds of them,” Eileen Colantropo said.
Neighbors complained that the feed attracts hundreds of geese, seagulls, pigeons, ducks, and swans that leave the neighborhood looking and smelling foul. Surveillance video provided a bird’s-eye view of the feeding frenzy.
“It’s gross. I have a new car and I have to clean it off all the time. There’s bird feces everywhere and I love wildlife, but this is totally out of hand,” one neighbor said.
Residents have petitioned the town of Hempstead to change the law. Currently, it is illegal to feed birds in a public park, but not on private property.
Boat yard owner Michael Victor declined to speak on camera, but told CBS 2’s Gusoff that he rehabilitates injured birds and has been feeding them for 20 years, long before the new homes were built.
The builder of those homes said that the neighbors’ rights are being violated.
“There are health concerns because you are dealing with feces all over the ground and feathers all over the ground,” Eric Schwartz explained.
Homeowners have covered their roofs in bird wire but nothing has been able to keep the flocks off of their lawns.
In response to the complaints, the town has drafted legislation to address the issue.
“Help the resident who have been overwhelmed by flocks of feeding birds, adding the force of law to assist them in their quest for relief from this nuisance,” it reads.
The boatyard owner said that for now he will continue to feed the flock, even if it does ruffle a few feathers, but would abide by the law if and when it changes.
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