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Cappleman Wants Crackdown On Feeding Pigeons

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 13, 2012 2:30PM

2012_12_13_cappelman_small.jpg Ald. James Cappleman (46th) wants to put an end to the pigeon nuisance plaguing his ward once and for all. Cappleman introduced an ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would lay out jail time and a fine for people who insist on feeding pigeons.

You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t that already illegal?” Well, people can be fined for feeding pigeons, but the actual wording in the Chicago Municipal Code, as former Chicagoista Thales Exoo noted when the question was first posed to us in 2006, doesn’t specifically make it verboten. It is illegal to own or coop pigeons. This, of course, makes life hell for aldermen like Cappleman, who has fought for months to stop two Uptown residents from feeding pigeons. One of the flying rodents’ benefactors, Young Kang, was charged with battery in May after she shoved Cappleman when he swept up the breadcrumbs she tossed for pigeons.

Cappleman’s proposed ordinance calls for up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if someone is found in violation. Cappleman also acknowledged some pigeon feeders may suffer from mental illness but he has an entire ward of residents to consider.

“Come with me to the Wilson L station and the Lawrence L station where we have around 800 pigeons that are now scaring people who are afraid to walk through a corridor,” he said. “The CTA has said the pigeon excrement is about a fourth of an inch thick and they’ll clean it and within a week, it’s back to the way it was before.”