Letters to the editor, May 31

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Creeped out by all the critters

I am one of the very privileged to own the title, “Stuy Town lifer.” And what a true blessing it is to live in this great place. I love it! And how wonderful and surprising, in this day and age, to see it getting better and better in so many ways. The ever-increasing beautification is most impressive to me and wholeheartedly welcome Stuy Town’s new self-proclaimed designation — “the oasis.”

I truly feel that breath of fresh air every time I turn the corner at 14th Street and Avenue A.

My favorite spot for reading or meditating is on the benches outside my building alongside Playground 12. The tree-shaded view of the Oval and the kids in the playground are idyllic.

But only for a short moment until the onslaught of squirrels and pigeons. The emboldened rodents are relentless in their jumping on the bench and crawling at my feet. (Think Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”)

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Pigeon-napper strikes again, says PCV woman

Pigeons like these have been getting sold for target practice. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Pigeons like these have been getting sold for target practice. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, Town & Village reported that a ring of bird-nappers have been seen trapping and then selling local pigeons to customers out of state who then use them for target practice. While they have yet to be arrested, one bird-napper was caught last year on Stuyvesant Town’s surveillance cameras as he worked to catch birds on East 14th Street and First Avenue.

And now, he’s back, according to a woman who said she watched in horror as a man caught pigeons in a net in Peter Cooper Village on Saturday.

The witness, a resident of Peter Cooper who asked that her name not be published, said it happened in broad daylight at around 12:10 p.m. on First Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets.

She said she watched as he put out some seed, and following a few birds’ immediate interest, quickly scooped them up. He didn’t get more than those few, however, since the woman said she screamed at him to stop.

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Bird-nappers selling local pigeons for shooting practice

A suspected bird-napper was caught in the act on Stuyvesant Town surveillance footage. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A suspected bird-napper was caught in the act on Stuyvesant Town surveillance footage. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Wildlife advocates are in a fowl mood thanks to a ring of pigeon-nappers. The bird thieves have been trapping the ubiquitous New York bird from local parks recently and selling them for target practice out of state, including to customers in Pennsylvania. Neighborhood resident and wildlife advocate Andrew Garn expressed his concern for the birds at the recent community council meeting at the 13th Precinct on Tuesday.

“I know it sounds like a joke,” Garn admitted after a smattering of laughter from meeting attendees. “But this has been going on in the neighborhood for years.”

Garn, a photographer who took an interest in the birds’ plight about two years ago after photographing them for about eight years, said that the trappers catch the birds by putting down feed and using spring-loaded nets. Garn lives in Stuyvesant Square and although he noted that this is an ongoing problem throughout the city, he said it is especially prevalent in parks in his neighborhood.

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A bird malnourished in Stuy Town? It happens thanks to feeders: rescuer

Animal rescuer and rehabilitator Marilyn Pascarelli recently found a pigeon who became ill from being fed bread.

Animal rescuer and rehabilitator Marilyn Pascarelli recently found a pigeon who became ill from being fed bread.

By Sabina Mollot

Take a look at any of the squirrels in Stuyvesant Town or Peter Cooper Village and it is clear that both complexes are home to the most well-fed squirrel population on the planet. The fact that ST/PCV is also a known bird sanctuary is also evidence of just how many residents enjoy feeding the various types of birds, too.

However, one Stuyvesant Town resident and animal rescuer and rehabilitator is hoping to change this practice by warning neighbors that they be doing their feathered friends more harm than good by feeding them. Or more specifically, by feeding them bread.

Marilyn Pascarelli, a volunteer with City Critters who’s also the neighborhood’s go-to gal for retrieving runaway pets and wounded strays, was recently contacted about a baby pigeon found in Stuy Town that was unable to fly. It was also barely able to walk, witnesses noticed, as it attempted to wobble along on a sidewalk near 277 Avenue C.

“He wasn’t sure what he was doing or where he was going,” she said.

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