More feeders down as Windsor strives to be a ‘bird-friendly’ city
Windsor residents continue to be told about the city’s new bylaw that could fine homeowners up to $215 if messy bird feeders spark complaints.
The new rules were passed in 2021 to reduce wildlife and rodents, such as rats and skunks.
“I don’t know what the problem is,” said Marty Doll, who was visited and warned by a bylaw officer at his Riverside home on Thursday. “We have to take this bird feeder down because a neighbor complained.”
Doll said watching the birds feeding in the front yard helps his daughter worry, telling CTV News he plans to remove the feeders soon.
“She will watch this, the birds are coming and it goes down right away. I guess they have nothing to do but complain,” he said.
At the same time, an increase in avian flu cases in southern Ontario has triggered warnings about bird feeding in the region.
“If your feeders aren’t clean, yes, they can catch all kinds of diseases,” said Gerry Marino, who traveled from Quebec this week hoping to watch birds in Ojibway Park. “I came here to see the birds at the feeder, but I didn’t know the feeders were gone.”
Signs displayed at Ojibway Park in Windsor, Ontario. Friday, May 6, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV Windsor)
Bird feeders were temporarily removed from the park last month as a precaution. Signs indicate that spring brings plenty of nutritious food for all wild birds and bird seed supplementation is not necessary.
Marino says he appreciates the town settlement, while being disappointed that the feeders are gone.
“At least you can see them here,” he said.
On Thursday, Mayor Drew Dilkens met with Canadian author and environmental activist Margaret Atwood to discuss “bird-friendly cities” and Windsor’s efforts to create a national urban park in the Ojibway Prairie complex.
Dilkens said healthy bird populations are critically important for biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, while stressing the importance of the 2021 regulations.
“People just need to act sensibly,” he said.
“We have to find the balance between wanting to feed the birds and not attracting skunks and not attracting rats and things like that. So consider your neighbors, consider the environment you are in.
The mayor added that “there are many ways to help the environment without creating controversy between neighbors on either side and we are just asking people to act sensibly.”
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens with Canadian author Margaret Atwood on Thursday, May 5, 2022. (Courtesy Mayor Drew Dilkens)
Meanwhile, a Windsor couple who live near Ojibway Park who spoke to CTV News last week said they have received calls from across North America since sharing their bird feeder story .
“The response has been incredible,” said Robert Lajoie. “We have calls from Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Nova Scotia!”
Lajoie said someone in Toronto shipped a no-mess bird feeder with a mesh netting for free as a possible solution. “The lady was so nice she said she couldn’t believe the city would do this kind of thing to someone,” he said.
Lajoie said he would invite city officials to see if the new charger is acceptable, while encouraging others to contact their city councilors to allow exceptions to the new bylaw for responsible homeowners.
“I want everything set up before I put on a stream and I want bylaws enforcement to come out and give us their approval before we go ahead and use it at all,” he said. he declares.
“But if they say they don’t want it because of bird flu, can you please wait?” Yes.”
Robert Lajoie shows off a mess-free bird feeder a stranger gave him after he received a regulatory warning in Windsor, Ontario. Friday, May 6, 2022. (Chris Campbell/CTV Windsor)