Citizen complaint of the day: The human bird feeder of the Public Garden

Feeding the ducks in the Public Garden

A concerned citizen complains:

I don't want to be a wet blanket, but every evening when I walk through the Public Garden between 5 and 6, I see this gentleman feeding the geese and ducks, in spite of the fact that such feeding is not allowed - I would normally let it go, but he feeds them practically every night, and he feeds them a lot! If this really harms the critters, someone should talk to him - otherwise, they should remove the signs!

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    Wrong Complaint Department

    Feeding migratory waterfowl is a federal crime. Call the 150 Causeway Crew. As soon as they are done with the Todashev investigation they'll get on top of this.

    I couldn't help look at the picture and think of Damon Albran
    "I get up when I want except on Wednesdays
    When I get rudely awakened by the dustmen
    I put my trousers on, have a cup of tea
    And I think about leaving the house
    I feed the pigeons I sometimes feed the sparrows too
    It gives me a sense of enormous well being
    And then I'm happy for the rest of the day, safe in the knowledge
    There will always be a bit of my heart devoted to it"

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    Actually written (and

    Actually written (and sprechsang) by Phil Daniels!

    You should catch up on yer parklife, mate. get some exercise!

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    Mmm...tough call. I mean,

    By on

    Mmm...tough call. I mean, what is the harm? It would be helpful if the signs spell it out (not sure if they do).

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    what is the harm?

    These are not protected species — I am assuming these are Canada Geese and Mallard Ducks — so I doubt it makes it to a criminal offense.

    However, it is not good for these birds to be eating human food rather than the water plants which they evolved to consume. It is not good for them or us to become dependent upon humans for survival -- I've been rushed by geese who wanted me to feed them rather than eat my lunch myself.

    The DCF notices along the Charles River bikeway request that we only feed waterbirds in January, February, and March, when their normal plant diet can become inaccessible. I suspect that this applies statewide, even in municipal parks like the Public Garden.

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    Also...

    By on

    Bread is really bad for birds. It absorbs water, swells up in their stomachs, and can cause serious problems.

    You're better off feeding them - if allowed - some fruits/veggies.

    Science!

    By on

    Actually, bread compresses when it gets wet in the stomach. The air in bread can't get out between all of the bread molecules. It's why the dough rises when the bread yeast eat the sugars and expel carbon dioxide. Then by baking it, the proteins in the dough harden and form pockets of air in the bread that gives it its look and feel.

    When you wet bread, you start to dissolve the thin bread molecules wrapped around all the air pockets. You can squish bread to a much smaller size when it's wet than when it's dry. What you're thinking of is the fact that as the bread dissolves (like if you lay a slice of white bread in a water dish), the dissolving relaxes that matrix of bubbles and the bread starts to "expand" in space as there's nothing holding the thicker parts together any more at the thinner parts. However, if you were to gather all that wet bread from the water and squeeze (like the muscles of the stomach will do), you'll shrink the bread to far smaller than original/dry size as the air and water escape easily out of the wet bread.

    This is also why Kobayashi, the competitive eater, came up with the water-dunking method for his hot dog buns for hot dog eating contests. He can squeeze the air from the bread. It can compress to a much smaller size for faster eating and less wasted space in his stomach.

    Bread (especially white bread) isn't great for the dietary needs of birds as it is devoid of lots of things they would get from grass, but it is still calorie dense and so they end up eating lots of calories but less nutrition. It's also bad to train the animals to get food in the park as they can be destructive in some ways to the garden, like their poop is acidic and can "burn" the grass.

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    Yes! My great aunts used to

    Yes! My great aunts used to have geese on their farm, and as a little kid--wow! Those geese were large and aggressive when they wanted something to eat. They finally got rid of them because they were tired of being chased by them in the yard.

    Watch Dogs

    By on

    In Eastern Europe, they used to (and maybe still do) use geese as watch dogs.

    Too many ducks

    By on

    I've counted 400+ there in the summer. They hang around all day waiting for the many people who feed them, not just this guy. The edge of the lagoon is rimmed with duck crap and on a warm day the place reeks like a sewage treatment plant. The Friends of the Public Garden pay someone with trained dogs to come by regularly to chase out geese but do nothing about the ducks which are much more abundant. That's the harm.

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    Canadian Geese are a nuisance

    By on

    Canadian Geese are a nuisance.

    They eat up to 3 lbs of grass daily (each bird!).

    And, each bird poops nearly 2 lbs every day.

    So basically, they are destroying the public garden and esplanade, and don't belong in our parks natively in the first place.

    Feeding them reinforces this behavior.

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    They are a handful.

    By on

    That very eating/pooping ratio tends to wreck their hang out areas.

    I was in Mount Auburn Cemetery a few weeks ago over by the larger pond and saw a security guy try and shoo them away, my first glimpse of a genuine wild goose chase.

    They seem to have adapted to the routine which involves tossing rocks, clapping hands and trying to imitate predator noises. The grounds crew even have a fake plastic dog/fox set up.

    https://flic.kr/p/njTF2X

    All to no avail.

    The decline of interest in hunting has taken pressure off and feeding through winter just prevents them from heading south to open water.

    It may be necessary to gas batches of em at some point which will be a whole new round of problems.

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    Interest in hunting hasn't

    By on

    Interest in hunting hasn't declined. The geese are species protected from hunting and the state has made it much more difficult to hunt legally.

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    It hasn't?

    By on

    Jeeze I haven't seen many camo guys with bows or shotguns around in the woods in years.

    But deer are everywhere. This one lives next to Alewife T stop http://youtu.be/W5JFSbKt2fQ

    In fact towns have to hire qualified bow hunters to cull the deer population. And there aren't many. I saw one in Andover last fall near the Deer Jump Reservation heading to his tree stand in the morning.

    The suburban core of eastern Mass is too crowded for hunting to work out very well.

    I mainly run into hunters down in the cranberry towns near Plymouth in places like the Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hanson.

    Here's the season hunting rules for Canadas in NY State to shoot a few holes in the hunting ban theory. http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html

    The Fed role involves purchase of a Waterfowl Stamp for your state hunting license and registration with a Migratory Waterfowl Hunter data base.

    undocumented geese?!

    By on

    Since some believe these migratory Canadian Geese do not belong here, perhaps we should call in ICE. Since under Obama, we no longer enforce our borders as far as human illegal immigrants, ICE should have more than enough resources available to stop these invading geese, check their papers and immediately deport them if they are found to be undocumented water foul.

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    So, record numbers of deportations don't count?

    By on

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/01/24/record-number-of-deporta...

    The annual number of deportations reached a record 419,384 in fiscal year 2012, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Between 2009 and 2012, the Obama administration deported 1.6 million immigrants. By comparison, two million immigrants were deported during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration.

    You're so far beyond the facts that it must get lonely out there...

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    Baaaaaaaaaah

    By on

    You apparently believe everything the Obama Regime tells you like all good little sheep.

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    You apparently don't

    By on

    believe in reputable institutes like Pew. Whether you choose to believe it or not is up to you but the Obama Administration has deported the number of immigrants cited.

    Let me guess, you probably also don't believe that the recent reports of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet collapsing are valid, right?

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    Right. And I bet you do in

    By on

    Right. And I bet you do in spite of other more credible studies that show the Antarctic ice is actually expanding to near record levels.

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    Scoobs didn't miss a beat!

    By on

    And there's your proverbial, "change-of-subject", five-six-seven-eight!

    What you fail to relaize is

    By on

    What you fail to relaize is that liberals have actually been, on the whole, pretty unhappy with Obama about this--talking immigration reform on the one hand while deporting record numbers of illegals on the other. I honestly don't envy the position in which the president has found himself: wingnuts won't stop their bleating long enough to realize that we've actually tightened-up our borders and upped deportations significantly, meanwhile those interest groups within his own party that are concerned with immigration issues have noticed and are giving him hell for it. Despite being generally liberal, I'm all for tighter border security and for proper enforcement of immigration laws, which puts me in the odd position of not agreeing with the President's stated position while agreeing with the actions his administration has actually taken.

    Believe it or not, plenty of conservative politicians support a certain amount of illegal immigration--though they'll never admit it in front of their base--mostly because it creates a steady supply of unskilled labor, drives down wages, and keeps costs low for their "job creator" buddies. These people are obsessed with the "free market," and as far as labor goes, if they can increase supply to lower demand, they're all for it. It's no accident that the W. Bush administration was so lax. These people have been trying to de-value labor for a long time (see also the far right's stance on the minimum wage).

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    Which executive order was that?

    I was just out in southeast Arizona and within 100 miles of the border there were more ICE vehicles than civilian ones. Why don't you just start bitching now about how high your taxes are without seeing the irony.

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    Agreed.... However, I do not

    By on

    Agreed.... However, I do not believe a Citizen's Connect complaint is an effective approach.
    How about trying to talk to the guy?

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    Not his job to talk to the

    By on

    Not his job to talk to the guy...that's why he forwarded it to the Park Department. They put up the signs, let them tell him.

    Nope! It isn't his job to

    By on

    Nope! It isn't his job to speak to the guy. It is a shame some have to run and file complaints, rather than try to speak to people first.

    CC is effective when dealing with graffiti, pot holes, etc. Not when you are dealing with a guy throwing bread. I can't imagine the parks dept. will set up a sting op., to bust the guy feeding the geese. The complaint was probably closed with no resolution.

    Huh?

    By on

    Its not like the city is inundated with more important issues.

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    Hate to tell you Grovehaller, but,

    Some issues in the city are more important in certain areas of the city. You have a very nice zoo and golf course in Grove Hall, which are run well enough. However, you also have mostly young men with firearms also running around in that area discharging them from time to time into or at least near other mostly young men. There is a city agency trying to deal with this problem. For the most part they do a good job, but not everything is perfect.

    Other areas of the city have solved their firearms problem, namely everyplace else other than pockets of Dot, Roxbury, and Mattapan, along with the occasional flare up from the Archdale, Old Colony, and the Bunker Hill projects. Therefore everyplace else gets to worry about illegal bird feeding, who stole the pocket library, the social ills of a 24 hour pizza parlor, the wrong color of paint on a door, those students, and other items of the mundane. Hate to put it that way, but these people live in the city as well and pay taxes and therefore are allowed to complain about those things.

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    Just checking something

    By on

    By "mostly young men" you mean "men that are for the most part young", right?

    I'm happy to see the big ups to Franklin Park.

    You're right

    By on

    He needs to stop feeding those birds. It causes a lot of issues as others have pointed out here very well.

    Get a LIFE!!!!

    By on

    You're really worried about a guy feeding birds in a park!!! Get a life... People like you that make this city and state a horrible place to live, always want to complain about something and never minding your own business!!!

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    ...says the guy who's

    By on

    ...says the guy who's complaining on the internet about others complaining on the internet.

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    Why are you pretending

    By on

    to not understand the implications of feeding wild birds? Can you please point out the specific reasons given by the many posters here that don't make sense to you? If you disagree strongly you can bring your arguments up to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Maybe they can help you.

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    Yes! This quality-of-life

    By on

    Yes! This quality-of-life snitching needs to stop, or else I'm going to move my start-up to Silicon Valley, where people know how to look the other way!

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    Why you shouldn't feed the geese

    By on

    The Portland (Oregon) Audubon Society has five good reasons not to feed wild waterfowl, including:

    • Overpopulation
    • Habitat degradation
    • Birds lose natural fear of humans
    • Dietary and nutritional problems
    • Disease

    Another article adds that the congregation of different species increases crossbreeding among wild and domesticated birds, and that birds who have come to depend on a food source will delay migration.

    Canada geese and other migratory birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Act, which makes it illegal to harm a bird or disturb its nest without a federal license.

    In fact, a man in Missouri was charged a couple of days ago with two criminal counts for intentionally running over and killing two Canada geese (link includes security camera video of the incident). If found guilty he could face up to two years in prison or $2,000 in fines.

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    Don't confuse the ignorant

    By on

    Don't confuse the ignorant with factual information... their heads will spin and they will have one less thing with which to be outraged!

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    Shut up, whiner...

    By on

    Seriously, how about we all follow this little whiner around and report everything they do that isn't in perfect conformity with the law. And why don't THEY talk to the guy feeding the ducks. Coward.

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    How about, instead...

    How about, instead, the people who are effing up our park by massively feeding the birds and creating literally tons of bird crap, quit doing it?

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    Maybe he doesn't want to be a

    By on

    Maybe he doesn't want to be a dick - the poster sounds pretty ambivalent about the whole deal. He just wants to know if the guy is harming the ducks somehow, and if he isn't, to remove the signs that give no reason why you can't feed the ducks.

    I know how he feels - on the weekends I see a lot of people sitting on the areas with the 'Keep Off The Grass' signs. I don't really see why they need to keep off the grass, but since they stopped posting Park Rangers, there is no one to explain or enforce the reasoning behind them. No one wants to be the guy to tell people to get off the grass - so an impression that there are rules that some people can disregard if they want. Hard to explain to a kid.

    I feel that unless the Park Service or whatever agency is in charge of the park is willing to post someone who enforces the rules, they should remove the signs, because all they do is make private citizens do their work for them.

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    canadiens suck

    By on

    especially the hockey team and the geese! my little one plays t-ball on a field that is COVERED with goose shit and its disgusting. I don't remember ever seeing theses creatures much as a kid.

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    Population has increased....

    By on

    You are correct

    With few natural predators and a flair for reproduction, the nonmigratory Canada geese population in the United States has jumped from 230,000 in 1970 to 3.8 million in 2009, according to the US Department of Agriculture. In cities and suburbs, humans try everything from pyrotechnics to border collies to uproot the geese. But the birds, which can live to age 20, rarely wander more than a few miles from their birthplace.

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2011/0...

    Despite appearances, I would

    By on

    Despite appearances, I would say this is actually a legitimate complaint in that the person should not be feeding them. It does more harm than good. However, I do not know who is going to enforce this except for the park rangers, this is their role.

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    What does my dog say?

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    Goose poop is sweet! I think my dog sees goose poop as a kind of pate for canines. She loves the, ah, crap. I tell her she can't give me any doggy kisses until she brushes her teeth and gargling. She doesn't care.

    But between the fields of feces and the increased quantity of bad bacteria in the air, I can do with a lot less geese.

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    How many of us readers are

    By on

    How many of us readers are "concerned for the well-being of the geese" but consume meat and dairy products from animals who live in horrific, hell-like conditions until they are slaughtered?
    Perhaps this bird-feeder doesn't have any loved ones or companions. Many people will just look down on this individual, but try to have some understanding and compassion.
    Although the geese are coming for the food only and not to get companionship from the human, this individual may only feel appreciated by these animals. Let the person be and realize there are many other things worth complaining about.

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    Stop, you're making me hungry

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    But no, I know that if I were to make a meal of one of these geese that everyone wants to get rid of, my name would be mud anywhere the story gets picked up.

    Still, do people around here have their Christmas goose. I know that the boys from Lonely Island love their boiled goose, but that doesn't sound delicious at all. Perhaps some day I'll track down a properly prepared goose for dinner.

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    About once a week I see a guy

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    About once a week I see a guy who dumps an entire loaf of Wonder Bread right from the bag next to the lagoon. This kind of food isn't good for birds and it makes a mess. Let's leave feeding the birds to young kids who give them just a little bit for fun.

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    Bird feeder

    By on

    "someone should talk to him - otherwise, they should remove the signs!"
    -Typical Liberal mentality HAHAHA maybe we need yet another alphabet agency to police Human Bird Feeders. Let me guess, you work at a non profit NGO or the like and drive your Subaru in the passing lane 10MPH under the speed limit completely oblivious that there is anything or anyone behind you. Probably listening NPR. I have an Obama Bumper Sticker Removal kit I would like to sell you....

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    Do you copy and paste this

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    Do you copy and paste this stuff from some sort of conservative starter kit or something? There already is a agency for this, the Park Service, and the report has asked that it be forwarded to them. This is not hard to figure out. Are you in Clive Bundy's living room?

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    Honestly, folks.

    The entire purpose of the citizen's connect app is not to report bank robberies in progress, it's to create an efficient, low-hassle way for the public to report quality-of-life stuff like potholes, burned-out streetlights, uncollected trash, missing street signs, rat infestations, etc....

    Isn't someone habitually dumping an armload of bread into the lagoon in the public garden exactly that sort of thing?

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