Society

Alfred and Annette Rockefeller Fined for Bird Feeder

| by Michael Allen
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Alfred and Annette Rockefeller are being fined because the bird feeder at their Ramsay, N.J., home is attracting more than just birds.

The feeder is filled with peanuts, which are attracting ducks, deer, geese, squirrels, chipmunks and other animals.

The animals are allegedly damaging other people's properties, reports NewJersey.com.

The couple might be fined between $250 to $500 for violating an a local ban on feeding wildlife.

Alfred Rockefeller, who is disabled, said "it's one of few things I get pleasure out of. I can also watch TV. But I prefer to watch the birds."

However, a local environmental health specialist, Leo Egan, said that peanuts are not appropriate for birds.

"There were a lot of animals ... being attracted," Egan said. "The animals don't recognize the yard line between one house and another. There was spillover, and other neighbors had damage to their gardens from the animals. They were putting in expensive plantings and getting them decimated."

"I feel like we're getting picked on over here," Annette Rockefeller said. "To me it's like, what's going to be next? I'm going to be walking around my yard in shorts and be told I'm ugly and bringing down property values."

The Rockefellers have gotten three notices from town officials and now must appear in court on Tuesday.

Don Torino, president of the Bergen County Audubon Society, claims that peanuts are bird food.

"They simulate what the birds find in the wild, acorns or other tree nuts," Torino said. "Can a squirrel get at the peanuts? Sure. But these are elevated feeders specifically put up for birds."

Source: NewJersey.com