I need some advice...Please I think my neighbor is losing it.

Bird Feeders - My neighbor doesn't want me to feed the birds.  Here are my birdfeeders on the deck after a storm.
@mari61960 (4895)
United States
January 23, 2007 12:55pm CST
My neighbor just left a note on my door it says.. "I know you think you are doing a good service by feeding the wild birds. However, we live in an area where food is abundant. There is no need to feed or even supplement their food. You are creating a nuisance. My car now has to be washed constantly because of bird droppings. I will ask just this once that you remove the bird feeders from your tree. I will await your response for 3 days before taking action formerly."Is this person crazy or is it just me. We have lived in this house since 1968. We have had bird feeders since at least 1970. It's not like there is a huge flock sitting around waiting to poop on her car. I can't help it that they poop and fly at the same time. At the very most, this year anyway, there have not been more than 10 birds out there at the same time. I only have two seed feeders and suet. I just don't know if I should respond or how to respond without being a jerk. I'm not going to take them down. I am not going to move them...should I just ignore it? This person has lived in a duplex next door for a little over a year. We have never had any problem with her, she keeps to herself, but waves, says hello, etc. Any opinions as to what I should do? Thanks in advance.
25 people like this
96 responses
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Wow. Some people sure need more of a focus in life. It is sad that this woman is more worried about her vehicle than the birds. You state that the feeders are seed feeders, so it isn't like you are giving them blueberries or something that will make the droppings stain her car! Two feeders is also not excessive in my opinion. I am no attorney, but I would not remove the feeders. I know the easy thing to do is to ignore the issue and hope it goes away, but I doubt it will go away. As with any disagreement, I feel it is best if you go over and try to have a civil conversation with her! Calmly tell her that the feeders have been there for 36 years and you don't want to remove them. After she has a chance to state her opinions, I would reiterate that you won't be removing them, and that you would be willing to pay half of the cost of a car cover. Should she go to small claims court or whatever, you can hold you head high and tell how you acted as an adult and talked face-to-face and offered to compromise by paying half the cost of a car cover! I can't imagine any judge ruling in her behalf over 2 feeders! If you were raising flocks and flocks of pigeons or somthing, thta would be different! Best of luck!
6 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
When I started this discussion I was worried about why she was so worried about it. Now I want to run outside and fill the feeders, even sprinkle some around on the ground...hehehe
3 people like this
• United States
23 Jan 07
If you go and talk to her though, try to take someone with you so in case it goes to small claims court (as silly as it is), then you have a witness. Or if you write a letter instead, make a copy so you'll have proof as well. You never know how people are going to be, so it's good to be prepared.
• United States
24 Jan 07
I think that these two have given you very good advice. THis seem like the best way to handle this disagreement you two do have to live next door to each other and you don'y want to make it unbearable. Good luck and keep us inform on how things turn out.
2 people like this
@xbritterx (170)
• United States
23 Jan 07
It's your property and that's that. What can she possibly do? I think she's crazy
@blueskies (1186)
• United States
23 Jan 07
My neighbor tried pulling this on me, too. In our case, we have one small bird feeder that draws a lot of sparrows. The sparrows will sit in our bushes, but fly over to his tree across the street if someone walks down the sidewalk on our side. He asked us to take the feeder down. We told him that our son put it up and it gives him a lot of joy (true). Since our son has special needs, the neighbor backed right off and hasn't complained about it to us since. In your situation, you are entitled to quiet enjoyment of your home and so is your neighbor. Since the neighbor has lived there a year and never said a word about the birds before now........and since you've lived there for so long with the bird feeders, I don't think their complaint would stand up in court. The best way to resolve this would be to try to have a talk with her. If she is belligerant or abusive, conduct all future communications through certified mail so that you have proof of your words if you have to go to court.
• Canada
23 Jan 07
We live in a quiet suburb and our street, especially, has very little traffic or even noise. We have a neighbor, a few doors down, that throws food out the door (bread slices, bread crusts, bits and pieces of leftovers, etc.) It attracts really BIG birds like seagulls and crows (not small birds, such as those that would be attracted to feeders). He does this on a regular schedule so the birds actually show up for "feedings." At 5AM, on a regular basis, everyone is awakened by the caws and screeching. If they don't get fed on time, they peck open trash bags and strew the trash all over the place. If it's trash day, everything is on the front lawns and on the road. If the lid of a trash can is loose, they manage to knock it off and peck down into the can. We sprinkle our trash bags and cans with cayenne pepper and this cuts down on the problem quite significantly. One of my immediate next door neighbors is having a fit over this. He tried to go down and talk with the man feeding the birds. It escalated to a HUGE screaming match because the fellow denies that he feeds them. It's kind of silly, really, because people see him doing it. It's hard to ignore being awakened when the sun's barely up or when there are big birds swarming to his lawn. I don't think I know ANYONE, in our area or anywhere else, who would complain about simple bird feeders or suet!! It sounds like your neighbor is needlessly making a small concern into a very big concern. I would just caution you to take her seriously, though, if she threatens to take some kind of action about the situation. My neighbor (the one who got into the argument) says that he checked with our city hall and there is definitely a by-law in place that prohibits feeding the birds in the manner the other guy is doing. He can be fined for it, if someone registers a formal complaint. I can't imagine this would apply to small, commercial bird feeders or suet, though! .... some people have too much time on their hands.
5 people like this
• Canada
23 Jan 07
Man! "formal action" sounds so .... well... FORMAL! lol Can you get in touch with someone for your city or town? Just to see if there is anything she can actually "use" against you? You know, in the by-laws or something? It might just give you some peace of mind, at least. I don't see how the song birds or anything of that size could be causing any disruption at ALL. I mean, they're so tiny (I and my younger daughter happen to be avid bird lovers too... we love to watch them in and around our lilac trees and our feeder!) The only other thing I can think of is that she might try to claim that the finish of her car is damaged due to the bird poop???? I went to a classic car website and they talk there (among many other sites, I'm sure) about the damage that bird droppings actually cause. You can look at it here, if you're interested: http://www.mydailydriver.com/mdd_content.cfm?ID=17 Sounds like you have the kind of neighbor that is awfully hard to appreciate! :(
2 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
24 Jan 07
Thanks for the link, I didn't know it was that bad for your car. I'm just going to ignore it for now and see what happens.
1 person likes this
• Canada
24 Jan 07
Good luck to you, mari! It's so hard having trouble with the neighbors!! I have one like that who lives behind me and some days she makes me want to pull my hair out. I'm so glad we put up a new fence and it's a few feet higher than our old one. I can avoid her a lot better now LOL!! Have yourself a lovely (and hopefully stress-free!) day :)
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8524)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Buy her a car cover and tape it to her door. She is a bit of a whack job it seems.
5 people like this
@shogunly (1406)
• Libya
24 Jan 07
what an excellent idea ! or maybe get diapers for the birds ! lol
2 people like this
• United States
29 Jan 07
lol Okay, that was hilarious!
• United States
23 Jan 07
First off whether you were feeding the birds or not there is still a high chance of her car getting pooped on by birds especially if she parks her car outside. it's nature and it happens. If she is really worried about it than she needs to get a tarp or a car cover. If she so really thinks of birds as a nuisance, just think of what the birds think of us humans. After all they were here first really. It's not your fault that the birds are pooping on her car. I don't think you whisper in the bird's ear"Hey see that car over there you and your buddies should cover it daily with your feces". So I would just say that you are keeping up your birdfeeders and that it's not your problem that nature is doing what it does. There isn't a lot one can do to stop bird's from going to the bathroom. In fact I think she will find that many areas these days encourage people to put out food for birds and create natural habitats for them as well.
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Yes, my yard in Washington was a registered backyard wildlife sanctuary. Maybe I could sit outside with little birdie diapers or put out a couple of birdie out houses...lol
3 people like this
• United States
23 Jan 07
lol @ birdie diapers and outhouses..haha Well apparently that is what she thinks people must do if they plan on feeding or creating something that encourages wildlife to repopulate the area.
3 people like this
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
23 Jan 07
By some eatable glue, put it on her car and cover it in bird-seeds *lol* I can not belive what people do or say these days, i mean if she is more worried about her car than birds getting fed than she has lost it =)
4 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
24 Jan 07
Alright now, I'm a gemini and it's hard enough to control my evil twin as it is...lol Don't go throwning her good ideas..lol I would love to.
1 person likes this
@cwilson26 (2736)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Did you have any neighbors before her that complained? If you have lived there for that long and have had the bird feeders up for that long and she is the first one to complain then I wouldn't worry about it yet. She has been living there for a year and this is the first time she complained then I think you should take the note over to her house and ask her what her problem is. You have every right to have the bird feeders up. Maybe she should move her car. And I don't see where she has the right to complain when you don't control the birds. :)
4 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
No, no other compaints since we've lived here.
1 person likes this
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
23 Jan 07
That is a strange neighbor that you have and she has no rights to tell you what to do on your property. I would ignore her as she can not do anything to you legally if it is on your property. If she does not like, then she should move somewhere else to avoid the birds and their droppings. That is good that you are going to keep your birdfeeders and not change anything. Maybe she is having health issues of some kind.
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
There's an idea, I will see if I can find a birdless community..lol and tell her to move there. Oh I think you may be right... Mental Health issues.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Jan 07
Who pooped - Not us
What a lousy neighbor. To be so petty but I have to wonder how she identified the bird that pooped on her car was one who ate at your feeder. I'm sure some birds fly by who have not stopped to eat and still poop. How can she PROVE your feeder is the problem. I dont have a feeder where my car is parked and it still gets pooped. Ignore her this is just another example of frivolous law suits. I doubt if it would ever get to court.
4 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Gee, I hope she isn't having it analyzed, you never know these days. People seem to be getting stranger than ever..lol
2 people like this
@raven33 (70)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I would really just ignore her. Let her go and file a formal complaint and let someone else deal with her. It's not like you have them trained to aim for her car. By the way is her car red? They really seem to prefer that color...or so I've noticed is the case here. If so, you might want to suggest she think about another color vechicle at trade-in time. LOL...or then, maybe not since she is being such a pain.
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Good one, no sorry she drives a silver suv...lol But I like your idea.
3 people like this
@diablita (22)
• Philippines
23 Jan 07
leave her alone, she's going nuts hehehehe or maybe she is stressed and seeing the poo n her car makes her more stressed and she can't do anything but to blame you.
4 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
That may just be it...lol
3 people like this
• United States
23 Jan 07
Well, first of all, do you own your home or do you rent? If you are renting it, you should check with your landlord and see if they have any objection to you having bird feeders. If you own your residence, then you have every right to keep the bird feeders up. Why has your neighbor never complained about this before?
4 people like this
@mari61960 (4895)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Yes, we own our home. No one has ever complained about them. It's not like I'm the only one in the neighborhood with them. The neighbor on the other side of her has them too. I would go ask if she complained to them but I don't know them. I don't want to stir up trouble either. The neighbor that wrote the note rents though. I have no idea why all of a sudden she decided to complain, she has never before this.
4 people like this
• United States
23 Jan 07
I'd be interested to see what "action" she will take (keep us posted on this). It is your property, and you have the right to do what you want. If you should come in contact with her, maybe ask (politely) why all of a sudden she has a problem? Also, I'd let her know that you enjoy the birds, and have no intention of removing your feeders because you have no control over when and where they poop.
4 people like this
• Australia
23 Jan 07
just say that sorry it is any inconvenience to you.. but the bird feeder is located in my own house and i am free to do whatever i want with it. im sorry that the bird poops on your car but there is nothing wrong with what i am doing, so please do not further the trouble. hopefully that will get her off your back.. and even if it doesnt... well then just ignore her.. afterall you are not doing something illegal
4 people like this
@wesderby (178)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I have to admit, I can see both sides of this issue. On one hand, you've had the birdfeeders there for years, and the neighbor just moved in recently. On the other hand, I know our apartment complex has now had to start putting a clause in the lease forbidding people from feeding the birds and other wildlife in our area for this same reason...Birds were pooping on other people's cars and decks, squirels and raccoons were coming up the decks and foraging for food, going into the dumpsters, and a couple have even bit little kids playing on their decks. This was never a problem before so many people started feeding the animals and birds. If you were in your own house, not a duplex, and had quite a bit of distance between you and this person's place, I could see ignoring it and keeping the birdfeeder up. If you're the owner/manager of the duplex and she rents the other unit from you, maybe elect not to renew her lease. However, if she can prove that the birds that eat out of your feeder are the ones leaving droppings on HER car, as sue-happy as this country is, and as frivolous as some of the successful lawsuits are these days, I could see some judge siding with her and at least making you pay for carwashes and any paint damage the droppings have done to hr car. I'm not saying she's right, but I can certainly see her side of things. Depending on where your feeders are in relation to her car, she may be able to make a convincing case. For now, leave them up and ignore her. If she comes back with the same complaint and hasn't forgotten, you may need to talk it out with her and explain your position, and look at her reasoning and logic, and come to some sort of compromise.
4 people like this
@Stephanie5 (2947)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Well, if she's giving you 3 days, I would definitely respond back. I would write a letter back to her saying just what you said to us. (about them being there since 1970 and that you don't think they are causing a problem and you are not going to take them down) About all she can do is file a small claims case against you and it would more than likely just be thrown out of court unless your bird feeders are sitting directly above her car, lol. Good Luck!
• Indonesia
23 Jan 07
Yup, you are absolutely right. Ignore her for a while. If she really got annoyed by the birds, let her come to you and say it in person. I think it's a bit rude saying things like that with a letter/ note knowing it's not like she is your superior or co-worker. She is your neighbour, what's so difficult for her to come in person and say it face to face infront of you, anyway? If she is still insisted on you not feeding the bird anymore; the idea of giving her a car cover, is also good.
@quispy (572)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Some people can find anything to complain about. Just ignore her. What action can she take against you? Are you breeding pigeons or something like that? Jeez.
4 people like this
@Victoria7 (1242)
• Spain
23 Jan 07
It is SO annoying to clean your car every day because of damned birds. I speak from experience! If she is exaggerating, maybe ignore it, but if she really is getting bombarded with bird droppings, I would seriously consider quitting feeding the things. It isnĀ“t funny for her.
4 people like this