Not much sympathy for the Pigeon Lady
A lot of people would like the Pigeon Lady to stop feeding birds, judging by the reader comments posted to my column about her.
The Pigeon Lady, who was featured in our Thursday column and in an accompanying video, is well known in the St. James Town area for spreading huge amounts of bird seed that attracts hundreds of pigeons, particularly on Wellesley St. E.
Pigeons are regarded by many as pests that foul the sidewalks with their droppings, which can transmit disease.
A poll conducted by thestar.com found that 76 per cent of 1,804 people who voted think the city should prohibit the feeding of pigeons, which was also reflected in more than 80 comments posted to the column by readers.
“People should not have to walk through pigeon poop or have swarms of pigeons fly up in their faces,” said one reader, adding that “eccentric pigeon feeders” often scatter seed and old bread on heavily travelled sidewalks near retail areas.
“Helping animals is laudable. Creating pools of bird feces for me to negotiate every day on my way to work is not,” said another reader. “Honey, get help. They don’t need your actions and we certainly don’t.”
Several readers said they’d come across her before, with one noting that “she refuses to move when you’re trying to walk past her with your dog. She screams at you if your dog scares the birds. She screams at you if you ask her to stop because you don’t want to step in pigeon crap.”
A friend of mine who resides in a condo on Homewood Ave., which runs south from Wellesley, emailed to say she lives in his building and is “crazy and mean when people criticize her about feeding pigeons.
“I’m sure she’s been told she can’t do it on the condo grounds any more so she feeds them on the sidewalk, away from the building.”
Another reader said she's been at it for seven years, and that he's had “several six a.m. screaming matches with this woman as she contributes to the flying vermin problem,” adding she spreads seed on homeowners’ properties in the area.
Some readers said she should be allowed to feeds the birds.
“Be compassionate. She’s not killing or hurting anyone. Ask her to perhaps isolate her meandering to public spaces. Otherwise, it’s her right to do whatever she wishes in regard to feeding the pigeons. Free country. This is not an issue.”