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Alderman Wants To Make Feeding Pigeons Illegal in Chicago

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Alderman Wants To Make Feeding Pigeons Illegal in Chicago

Charlie Wojciechowski

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Whatever you do, don't feed the pigeons.

That's how Chicago Ald. James Cappleman (46th) feels after encountering hundreds of birds in his Uptown neighborhood with droppings to match.

Cappleman proposed making the act of feeding pigeons illegal in the city after sections of his ward, he says, have become overrun by the birds flocking to those who give them up to four pounds of bread a day.

He introduced an ordinance during Wednesday's City Council meeting that proposes banning the feeding of birds in public spaces. He wants bird feeders to face a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

Cappleman said the situation is hurting neighborhood businesses and the community, noting up to 800 pigeons gather beneath "L" tracks and some people are afraid to walk across the street.

Several residents who talked to NBC Chicago said they agree with the alderman but others said it's all part of living in the city.

"I don't see the problem with it," said resident Chuck Brown. "The birds stay in one area, that's it." 

"It's like feeding rats, you know. They're a nuisance," said CTA rider Mike O'Leary. "If  you feed them, there's more of them."

"There are too many of them and they're flocking around, so yeah, he's going to make it illegal I think," Shuquelia Hanfor said.

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