Posted: Sep 12, 2012 5:12 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
Updated: Sep 12, 2012 8:10 PM
Coming to Waller Park in Santa Maria isn't just a walk through for resident Brucktait Sumpter.
"I really like the birds, I like watching the birds," said Sumpter on Wedneday.
She comes ready almost everyday to feed the various mix of birds. There are ducks, geese, and blackbirds, and many of them become very friendly with her.
She said, "I haven't seen anybody saying, 'don't feed them.' I don't see any signs saying that it's dangerous for the birds."
On Wedneday, Sumpter brought the birds bread.
"Bread is good for us, so I consider it's okay for them too," she said.
But, as a result of many park visitors' free feedings, the birds defecate throughout the park, causing a potential health risk.
Sumpter said, "the birds have to poop, you know, they have to eat, so when you eat, those are the consequences."
The Santa Barbara County Parks Division said they are looking into the potential health and environmental hazards of feeding the birds. But, the City of San Luis Obispo Park and Recreation Department said they discourage visitors from lending that helping hand. They say when it rains, the feces from the birds can leak into bodies of water like Laguna Lake, which will pollute it. There is a city ordinance, and they say technically a visitor can be cited if the continue to feed the birds. The city says they put visible signs up, like at Laguna Lake, to forwarn the visitors.
No signs of feeding warnings could be found at Waller Park on Wednesday.
Sumpter suggested, "I feel like maybe as a community everybody gets together and clean it, we have to have some kind of community works. I myself will be volunteer to clean it up."
A possible solution to a 'fowl' problem.
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