Weather Updates

Editorial: Big pigeon flocks mar neighborhoods

Alderman James Cappleman talks about his ward some issues he faces ward. Tuesday August 14 2012. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

Alderman James Cappleman talks about his ward and some of the issues he faces in the ward. Tuesday, August 14, 2012. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

storyidforme: 41596500
tmspicid: 15386216
fileheaderid: 6974888

Updated: January 15, 2013 11:30AM

Someone with gray hair and a cane sitting on a park bench while feeding the pigeons seems part of the traditional cityscape.

But in some neighborhoods, pigeon feeding has gone too far, and on Wednesday, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) introduced an ordinance to put a stop to it. He’s right that stronger measures are needed to prevent excessive feeding.

We hate to see a sympathetic image straight out of “Mary Poppins” cast in an unfavorable light, but Cappleman says large-scale bird feeding is damaging his North Side neighborhoods. He says it costs the city and businesses tens of thousands of dollars a year to clean up pigeon excrement and to repair items it damages.

Ald. Danny Solis (25th), who previously sponsored a pigeon ordinance that was shelved, said he is “really going to push” the measure this time around.

Fair enough. But Cappleman’s call for jail terms of up to six months is extreme.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.