04-24-2005, 08:34 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
Convicted of Bird Feeding!
Longtime bird lover and rehabilitator Naomi Mitchell was found guilty Friday of violating a Fox Lake ordinance by feeding migratory waterfowl, and given a sentence of 60 days court supervision and a $25 fine.
Within seconds after proceedings ended, several supporters had handed the 77-year-old woman more than enough cash to pay the fine. "I'm still going to feed my swan," Mitchell said, referring to an injured bird she cares for as she walked out of the Lake County Circuit Court branch in Grayslake.
Johnson indicated some reluctance in sentencing Mitchell for feeding migratory waterfowl, but said the case had been proven and the ordinance had been violated.
"You're probably the nicest person I've ever met other than my wife or my mother, but that's not the issue," Johnson said. "Is it a nice thing to do to feed birds? Of course. On the other hand, do I realize there is fallout from such action? Of course."
04-24-2005, 02:43 PM #2
It is very difficult to convince animal lovers that feeding isn't always a good thing for the animals. Migratory birds that are fed don't bother to migrate. They then build up unsustainable populations in the places where they are fed. Not good for them, not good for the people who have to walk through goose poop, not good for other species of birds that get shut out. No fun taking your child to the park if he or she is going to get coated in the poop of birds that are attracted by well-meaning little old ladies.
My misguided neighbor feeds corn to deer in the winter. Aside from the fact that we really don't need to attract more deer, she is actually making them sick. Deer CANNOT digest corn in the winter. Their digestive systems simply cannot handle it. In the winter they are designed to be eating relatively little food. She has probably caused some perfectly healthy deer to die of bloat.
04-24-2005, 04:41 PM #3Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
Of course you're right, but she had been living there long before the laws were put in place. She also has a bird sanctuary there and cares for birds. Her birdfeeding activities were supposed to be grandfathered in, but somehow it was left out of the annexing agreement. She might have thought that the clause was in effect. Regardless, I wouldn't want to live next to her ... can you imagine the mess?
"Former Fox Lake Mayor James Pappas testified that he had been given the authority to negotiate annexation agreements for several properties including Mitchell's in the late 1990s and had told the property owners that they would be grandfathered "for anything they were currently using their land for."
The judge noted, however, that the actual annexation ordinance made no mention of such agreements."