Backyard bird feeding ruffles feathers in NE Albuquerque neighborhood

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How many birds is too many for a homeowner to feed? 

A northeast Albuquerque neighbor claims a nearby home has so many feeders that birds are causing a mess, and that neighbor is asking the city to step in. 

While plenty of tall trees surrounding the northeast part of Albuquerque, one home in particular near Eubank and Academy has been a magnet for birds for years. 

Neighbor Katie Conant lives near the home that draws all the birds. 

“If you watch you’ll see ’em flying in,” said Conant, pointing to more than 15-foot tall bush in the neighbor’s yard. 

“They’re definitely doing some stuff to encourage more birds to come on site and get a free meal,” said Conanet. 

Conant says this year, she’s dealt with a lot more of what the birds leave behind, especially on her pool cover where bird droppings are evident. 

“You know it’s a little upsetting, we come out and I’m like, ‘I’m going to have to scrub,” said Conant. 

While Conant says she’ll clean up the mess on her own, other neighbors aren’t so happy with the homeowner who’s attracting the birds and have reported the home to the city. 

An anonymous neighbor recently sent a complaint to the Albuquerque 311 website, SeeClickFix.com, titled “Pest Pigeons.” The anonymous complaint calls out the neighbor’s home by address, claiming it has “multiple feeders that “attract rodents” and leave “excrement all over.” 

The complainant also asked the city if there are “any codes or rules to limit the number of feeders in people’s yards.” 

The city of Albuquerque’s Urban Biology Division hasn’t talked to the property owner yet, but the idea of facing questions from the city for backyard bird feeding has the neighbors talking. 

“We didn’t have any thought of doing anything,” said Conant, who didn’t write the complaint. 

“It’s a nice yard and they enjoy sitting back there and watching the birds, leave them alone,” said Mike Schaeffer, another neighbor who called the complaint “petty.” 

The homeowner hadn’t seen the complaint until KRQE News 13 showed him a copy of it on Monday afternoon. 

“We’re birders, you know, we love to bird,” said the homeowner, who admitted to having several feeders in his yard. 

However, the homeowner, who says he’s fed birds for years in feeders raised off the grounds, doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. 

“You can look anywhere over town, there’s huge flocks over the power lines, you know, you ought to talk to PNM,” the homeowner chuckled.

The city says it will send someone from the Urban Biology Division to check out the home this week. The department says the only ordinance against bird feeding is specific to pigeons. The ordinance prevents people from feeding pigeons by hand. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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