Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Majestic" Pigeon Roost Has Gotta Go

Update: Here is "pigeon lady" in action Friday afternoon

As if we needed more reasons to get the dilapidated "Majestic Store for Men" sign removed from the long vacant CTA owned storefront at 4701 N. Broadway, here is yet another: pigeons.

Guess who is seen feeding the hoards of pigeons that roost behind this sign that could collapse at any minute?  The same lady that dumps bags of breadcrumbs under the L tracks on Wilson. Because of her incredible desire to feed the pigeons at Broadway and Leland, the awning at neighboring Apartment Vigilantes is covered in pigeon poo. We hope that the CTA and Jones Lang LaSalle will give this storefront the attention it needs, and hopefully Apartment Vigilantes can let the pigeon feeder know that her actions are not appreciated the next time she is seen outside their business.

In related news, there is a brand new "Do Not Feed Pigeons" sign that was added just steps from where the pigeon lady dumps her bread crumbs at the Wilson L. Progress.


  1. Could somebody with proper training approach this woman and try to find out exactly what she thinks she's doing?
    Makes me think of a guy at my former residence who "befriended" the mice and rats in his apartment. Ugh.

  2. I've approached her...she is quite nice.
    Not sure I have "proper training" however.
    There is more to the story then the pigeon poop, I believe if people knew they would be more sympathetic towards her.
    There certainly is a way to deal with this so nobody's awning gets spoiled. Not sure this is the time and place to discuss.

    That sign however must come down, professionally I would hope so the terracotta doesn't get damaged in the process would be nice.

    Under the sign and the washable grime this is a sweet little vintage storefront here.

  3. This looks like the same lady that is feeding the pigeons in the alley at Magnolia and Ainslie. She lives in the building at the corner of Magnolia and Ainslie on the southeast side. We have taken photos of her and reported her alderman smith's office. We even engaged her landlady who informed us there was nothing she could do to stop the lady. She knows what she is doing is illegal but has a need to feed the birds anyway. Something really needs to be done about this lady. One women shouldn't be able to cause so much trouble across uptown.

  4. You can see her each morning at around 8:10-8:30 behind her building feeding all the clockwork.

  5. Maybe NBC news can do a stake-out in their news van.

    Sounds crazy? Well check out the problem literally raining down in a neighborhood in Philly......

    Our bird feeder is nice lady...I hope she doesn't get fined and a solution can be found.

    She just loves the birds.

  6. I was thinking a social worker could approach her. I'm sure I myself would handle it all wrong and there would be an explosion of craziness or worse.

  7. Why do people even care about this? What's wrong with feeding pigeons? Bigger things to be concerned with than bird shit on buildings, yeah? Sounds like she's just doing something that makes her feel good, or that she wants to do. Y'all need more compassion and loving kindness.

  8. Feeding the pigeons is against city ordiance.

  9. HUNTER: it's true there is o problem in general with feeding any birds... But the sheer anoint of pigeons and the shit they leave behind is disgusting. As a resident of the neighborhood who frequently passes that area, it smells horrible, looks pathetic, not to mention pigeons carry various types of diseases.

    I'd rather see her at the lakefront, in any of the grassy areas feeding the birds, then on our public streets, where no one currently cleans them.

  10. Jason, can you please post the ordinance or a link? Thanks.

  11. This appears to be an onging debate

    Here's a story See Link:


    There is a section in Chicago's Municipal Code (7-12-387) all about the restrictions on pigeons. However, while the code bans owning, harboring, or otherwise aiding pigeons, there is nothing that specifically calls out feeding.

    Currently, we're not completely convinced there actually is an ordinance banning the feeding of pigeons, and we've been diligently searching for weeks now. We just can't find anything specific telling us that it does exist, so unless an astute reader can point out something we've missed, we're going to say the casual feeding, while probably not the best idea, isn't actually illegal in Chicago.

  12. I was at the Tmobile store at Leland and Broadway a few weeks ago and the pigeon lady was in an altercation with a guy from the private gym on the corner there. He was out with a broom and a bucket of water trying to sweep the mess of bread on the sidewalk away while the pigeon lady was tussling with him to get the broom and stop him.

    A small crowd had gathered so I went over to investigate. The lady seemed quite worked up and was telling people to leave her alone. She was screaming that the pigeons need to eat. I told her that pigeons have been living in the city for decades and are not going hungry and that what she was doing was a public health nuisance what with the mess of bread on the sidewalk and the droppings from all the pigeons congregating there, not to mention the attraction of the food for rats and other vermin.

    I tried to reason with her explaining that I understood her desire to help the birds but that leaving a hot mess on the sidewalk was not the way to do it. She wasn't having it and seemed quite irrational, screaming at everyone in the general vicinity to leave her alone. I could see it was going nowhere so I left.

    I have seen a sign at the Jewel on Montrose stating that feeding the pigeons is a violation of city code. I don't know if this is true and if so why it's not being enforced here. This woman is a conspicuous character in the neighborhood and I'm sure the police have had complaints about her before.

  13. Apparently, as I've seen on several signs, Chicago Municipal Code 728-710 prohibits the feeding of pigeons - and carries with it a $500 fine.

    Now, if you look up the code, it doesn't mention pigeons, specifically - it mentions "rats":

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to place, leave, dump, or permit to accumulate any garbage or trash in any building, structure or premises so that the same shall afford food or harborage for rats, or to dump or place on any premises, land or waterway any dead animals or waste vegetable matter of any kind.

    Looking at the bolded portion, the signs may be wrong in so much as it's not specifically illegal to feed pigeons (though, that is obviously a condition of the intent); but, it is illegal to leave vegetable matter on the ground as it is, by the standards of the city of Chicago, a health nuisance.

    I'm sure she's a lovely woman whose intentions are good, and she deserves to be treated with respect; however, she is clearly in violation of an ordinance enacted to protect the health of the pubic.

  14. Not saying we do it...but what would happen if a group of people took down that sign/facade on their own? Who would complain or stop us? That terra cotta peeking out looks gorgeous.

  15. Can someone comment: Was she ever brought up in a CAPS meeting for that beat? Curious to know if they have any advice.

    We brought up the "U-haul" guys who hang out at Broadway near Irving Park and they're still working on it.

  16. Speaking of the U-Haul guys, it sucks really bad that a person can't take a nice stroll from the Uptown library to Irving Park without them leaving their "post" and bugging passersby. Anything to avoid working a legitimate job with some folks.

  17. From wiki-how:

    Try spices. Pigeons don't like spices. Sprinkle cayenne pepper, cinnamon, pepper, etc., where they usually roost. Be generous and repeat after wet weather.

    If their bread crumbs are mixed with cayenne?

  18. Like Antony described, somebody with proper training should approach this woman and see if she can be reasoned with.

  19. @CP: At the BP caps meeting one of the residents complained about them but then in the same breath said "Well I used them before and they were alright" of the cops at the meeting said: "And you weren't robbed the next day?" surprisingly since they know how often it happens. Sadly unless you see them drinking or in some other way legitimately disturbing the peace you can't get them to legally move.

  20. If you believe that Ald. Cappleman's response to the pigeon problem in his ward is draconian, and unduly penalizes human compassion, then please sign my petition, "Feeding Pigeons Shouldn't Mean Prison" on Care2 here: You can also read my open letter to Ald. Cappleman here: Thank you!