What can I do about my Homeowners Association ban on the feeding of birds?
First, you can appeal the ban and suggest modifications for a compromise. The National Audubon Society has found no reason for people not to feed birds, but some people can and do overfeed and can create a nuisance for their neighbors. The following are suggestions for some limits to feeding that might solve whatever problems resulted in the restrictions:
- Prohibit feeding on the ground in certain areas.
- If larger mammals attracted to feeders are considered a problem (such as raccoons), it might be appropriate to allow hanging feeders only or feeders on poles with "critter guards" to keep them from climbing up to the feeders.
- Tray feeders could be banned, or only allow feeding during daylight hours.
- If suet is an attractive nuisance, just ban that.
The key is to have a discussion with your association members to discover what exactly prompted the ban. Was there an actual problem in your neighborhood, or did someone read something that made them worried? Figure out how to solve the actual local problem without going overboard on the issue. Even if you have no restrictions for bird feeding in your neighborhood, we encourage everyone to plant native flowers, trees and shrubs for birds. Imitating nature in your yard will bring in lots of birds naturally, and even if you put out feeders, you'll attract more birds with a diversity of native plants.
You can find a lot of suggestions, ideas, and resources for creating an environmentally-friendly yard, home, schoolyard and neighborhood at our Audubon At Home website: http://athome.audubon.org/