A New Jersey couple who love to watch birds in their backyard is fighting a ticket from the town after officials say their bird feeders are attracting other wildlife, including deer and squirrels.
Health officials cited Alfred and Annette Rockefeller for feeding wildlife in their backyard, after a neighbor complained that other animals besides birds were feasting there. The Rockefellers keep nearly a dozen different feeders, some of which offer peanuts in wire-caged feeding rings.
Alfred Rockefeller, 77, is essentially incapacitated as he awaits knee replacement surgery that has been delayed because of other leg ailments. He says he likes to sit in his kitchen and watch the birds, including blue jays and cardinals.
"I guess you can call me a nature lover," Rockefeller said.
Ramsey Borough Administrator Bruce Vozeh said there has been damage to shrubs and landscaping in the area.
He said the town had no other choice but to investigate and act, writing a summons that could cost the Rockefellers as much as $500.
The couple have rejected arbitration; a municipal judge will decide on their feeders.
"There's things the neighbors do I don't like but I'm not bothering them," Annette Rockefeller, 66, said.
Vozeh said if the couple had just a few feeders, it likely wouldn't be an issue.