Senior Citizens Going to Court Over ... Bird Feeder
Feeder provides solace to homebound senior, but NJ neighbors complain
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 24, 2013 11:28 AM CDT
A New Jersey couple is facing court over their bird feeder.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Two New Jersey seniors may soon find themselves in court over ... unauthorized bird-feeding. Alfred and Annette Rockefeller, 77 and 66, have received a summons to appear in court tomorrow over a feeder in their garden that has prompted complaints from neighbors; officials say it violates local rules. Feeding wildlife is generally banned, though enclosed, hanging feeders are allowed, the Record reports. The one in question is made of wire in the shape of a wreath and contains peanuts (see it here). A local official says birds don't eat peanuts, Alfred notes; the president of the local Audubon Society disagrees.

The Rockefellers bought it after they were told they couldn't spread birdseed on the ground. Alfred is disabled and can rarely leave the house; the feeder is "one of few things I get pleasure out of," he says. But neighbors were upset when it attracted other animals like deer and squirrels, who "decimated" pricey plants, says the official. The Rockefellers received several warnings and rejected an offer of mediation with neighbors, the police chief says. They now face a fine of up to $500. But "to me it's like, what's going to be next?" says Annette. "I'm going to be walking around my yard in shorts and be told I'm ugly and bringing down property values."

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Jun 25, 2013 2:20 PM CDT
Typical. Old jerks always think they've earned some kind of right to be jerks, just because they haven't died yet.
Jun 25, 2013 1:16 PM CDT
IS this, what this country has become ? Its going down faster, than I thought
Jun 24, 2013 8:55 PM CDT
The man is handicapped and one of his only joys left it bird watching friom his window. New Jersey is notorious for neighbors like Rockefeller has. You can live next door to your neighbors for 30 years and they will hardly ever say hello or be friendly, but they are are always first to complain if they think you're doing something they don't like. That's why I moved out of that ragt hole years ago.