Letters to the Editor

‘Public nuisance’ label unfounded

I appreciate the work our city councillors do. But the city of Victoria recently reported that “feeding pigeons, crows and seagulls can be a public nuisance that attracts rodents.”

This is not true. Pigeons, crows and seagulls immediately eat every scrap that is put out for them, leaving nothing to attract rodents. It is only songbirds that leave debris of seeds or shells on the ground.

Songbird feeding is apparently not a nuisance – though it is also the only type of bird feeding that attracts squirrels.

Besides this, what good reason is there to categorize the feeding of urban wildlife as a “public nuisance”? Is it because of an intolerant minority that is forever complaining? To them it may be a nuisance, or to apartment managers perhaps.

What has become of a society when it is so unkind as to actually pass legislation to deprive the retired, and the caring, and all persons, of such a simple pleasure as feeding the little creatures that we share our habitat with? True, where birds congregate, there will their feces be also. But this is true of songbirds too, if not moreso because they feed all day long at their feeders. The next rain that comes will wash it all away.

No one is really hurt through these activities. Bird flu scares are unproven and alarmist. For the most part, feeding birds is a caring action which surely does not warrant penal action. Have we lost all perspective?

If our public officials wish to keep the rodent population in check, perhaps they and the SPCA would reconsider the attitude that would keep their natural predators, cats, locked away inside homes and apartments.

All this is symptomatic of a trend in thinking that is not attuned to living on the land and sharing it with God’s creatures.

Do we seek sterility and neighbourhoods developed with a show-home mentality, or do we seek what is oriented to life, and what is caring of all members of our society and of all the creatures who abide with us?

R. Magnusson


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