There are people whose mission is to lure wildlife downtown. Piles of bread chunks, popcorn and seeds are heaped on sidewalks, alleys, communal lawns and parking lots. Animals evolved to forage; it is their work, and it keeps them alert, alive and honed to their natural surroundings.
The grit birds pick up with each separate, foraged seed is necessary to break down roughage in their stomachs. Piles of heaped-up seeds dont do the trick its like giving a lion canned paté; and the heaps of white bread keep them from scavenging for the insect protein vital to survival. These huge birds perch, rasping harshly, above paved spaces. Their grating, repetitive caws are designed to be heard miles away because they are calling to other birds to join them and feed off the mounds of white bread. The caws go on hour after hour, penetrating closed windows while they feed, defecate and splash cars with black, tar-like feces that hardens on windshields.
These people who dump human food in densely occupied neighborhoods lack all sense of spatial privacy. They themselves have covered garages. Talk to them and you get a speech about privileges due them: Theyve lived here forever, and enjoy these animals so the outside is theirs. It doesnt occur to them to sweep peanut shells, feces and uneaten, rotting fruit off sidewalks. Everyone who is stuck living near these people must live in their fantasy world of what kind of holidays the wildlife needs. Christmas and Thanksgiving, popcorn covers sidewalks so animals can celebrate Christmas and how unkind to deny pigeons Thanksgiving! Human residents have their holidays pierced by harsh, barking caws. One guest commented it was like having Christmas in a landfill.
People are afraid to speak and be the meanie who doesnt love animals, but after I heard a radio announcement beseeching people not to feed animals, explaining the destruction it causes, I learned that what was making my neighborhood unpleasant for me was bad for animals, too.
Ellen Altermann, Durango