Chicago Pigeon Feeding Ban? North Side Alderman Wants Stiff Penalties For Pest-Feeders

Stubborn pigeon feeders in Chicago might soon be pinching their pennies in order to pay the fines as high as $1,000 proposed Wednesday by Ald. James Cappleman (46th) in response to what he sees as a massive problem in his Uptown ward.

Cappleman introduced an ordinance that would make feeding pigeons in the city an illegal act punishable with up to six months in jail along with a hefty fine, NBC Chicago reports. A similar fine was previously proposed in New York in 2007 but has not been implemented.

The alderman told the Chicago Sun-Times that the massive pigeon population in his ward, buoyed by bread and rice-armed enablers, has reached a height that is "scaring people" near area CTA "L" stations.

"This is our way of saying this is really hurting the community. It’s hurting the businesses. We have to put a stop to it," Cappleman told the paper.

In conversation with DNAinfo Chicago, Cappleman named two individuals -- Ed Gross and Young Kang, the so-called "pigeon lady" the alderman accused earlier this year of pushing him into a street after he swept up breadcrumbs she'd left for the non-native birds -- as particularly problematic pigeon feeders in the neighborhood.

"We're talking about extremists, and the intent of this ordinance is to go after these extremists," Cappleman told DNA.

Nearby Oak Park, Ill. earlier this year briefly considered euthanizing pesky pigeons they feared were becoming a major nuisance in its downtown shopping district. Instead, the village moved to implement a netting system targeting the birds similar to ones used in other Chicago suburbs.