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Judge Puts Pinch On Birds’ Feed

There’s still a free lunch for the blue jays, cardinals, sparrows, chickadees, pigeons and doves flocking to eat in Mary Lane’s back yard. But it’s been cut in half by a judge’s order.

“It’s a case of feeding to excess,” Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter said Tuesday.

Lane has been feeding birds for five years to give her 88-year-old mother something to watch.

But neighbors complained that 10 pounds of feed daily posed a public health problem by attracting too many birds and rats.

The Health Department ordered Lane several weeks ago to take down eight of nine bird feeders to cut down spillage.

Potter let her keep the ninth feeder, but then she spread the seeds on a table. In March, he visited the yard and ordered her to sweep the spilled seeds regularly.

More neighbor complaints brought her back to court, and a special judge sitting in for Potter found Lane in contempt after a health inspector found piles of bird seed on the ground.

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