Pigeon feeders are generally classified in the public consciousness alongside crazy cat ladies: Kinda freaky, yes, and not so pleasant to have as neighbors, but harmless overall — a colorful community staple, even.
But Charles Douglas, 59, owner of Precise Roofing Company near Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, just took a bird lover's pastime to misdemeanor status…
… according to the Glendale News-Press.
Because Douglas scatters bird feed behind his business, flocks of pigeons — 200 to 400 at once — are now crowding the airspace over Bob Hope runways, say airport police. And, in groups of 20 to 30, they're supposedly committing “bird strikes” on unsuspecting planes.
Sadly for Douglas, (alleged) BFF of hungry pigeons everywhere, his company's backyard happens to be the landing and takeoff lanes at Burbank Airport:
Though the strikes have reached new heights this summer, the only real close call following a Burbank bird strike took place in the late '90s, before Douglas started feeding pigeons, reports the News-Press.
Bird strikes can cause significant damage to an airplane, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, recalling that about 12 years ago a plane departing Los Angeles International Airport ingested birds. The engine landed on Dockweiler State Beach, not far from people who were picnicking.
Need evidence of their potential danger? Here's some YouTube gore to back up the City Attorney's misdemeanor case against Douglas for “creating a public nuisance by feeding pigeons” (which could result in a maximum penalty of “six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine”):
Gnarly, indeed. Still, we can't help but feel a little heart pang for the guy. Hasn't the Burbank City Attorney's office ever seen “Hoarders”? The airport's most hazardous neighbor is probably filling an emotional hole by forming mass bonds with the birds/letting them crap all over his roofing yard. Isn't that punishment enough?