Home Events + News Hoboken Officially Bans Feeding Wildlife — Including Birds

Hoboken Officially Bans Feeding Wildlife — Including Birds

by Sarah Boyle
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Hoboken is home to many forms of wildlife. Between birds, deer, a seal, and even a whale spotting, many locals have enjoyed seeing animals in the area — and the City has now officially cracked down on any further interactions with wildlife. During a Council meeting on May 18th, the Hoboken City Council unanimously put forth an ordinance that would introduce a ban on feeding wildlife in Hoboken. On June 1st, the Council unanimously voted to pass this ordinance, making wildlife feeding in Hoboken officially banned. Read on for what we know about the wildlife feeding ban in Hoboken. 

The Wildlife Feeding Ban

The Council voted unanimously at its meeting on June 1st to pass an ordinance that bans the feeding of any wildlife. This includes “birds, rodents or any other non-domesticated wildlife on public streets, sidewalks, parks and/or public places,” according to the ordinance. It was first proposed at the May 18th Council meeting. Feeding wildlife has now formally been added to the prohibited acts on the list of the city’s ‘nuisance provisions.’ Other nuisance provisions cover topics such as mandating that dog waste be bagged and disposed of, the prohibition of parking electric scooters on the sidewalk, and planting bamboo.

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“The City has received a number of resident complaints regarding increased geese, pigeon, and rodent populations, which this ordinance will help address,” Marilyn Baer, city spokeswoman, said.

feeding ducks

According to New Jersey 101.5, this ordinance is a stepped-up effort by the City, which had previously only posted signs asking residents to not feed animals. The ordinance will codify a prohibition on feeding wild animals. The fine for failure to comply with the ordinance is $250 for the first time, $500 for the second time, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent time.

Many are also discussing that, though well-intentioned, feeding wildlife can often have harmful repercussions — both for the animals and for humans. It can lead to reliance on humans, upset stomachs, animal aggression, and even increased roadkill as animals approach roads + vehicles in search of food.

The Hoboken Girl has reached out to the city for more information.

Hudson County Wildlife

Hoboken’s wildlife scene has changed tremendously over the years. Believe it or not, back in the late 1800s, Hoboken was once home to snapping turtles who would lunge out of the Hudson and steal chickens. While these vicious turtles are no longer around, there are still many other creatures to see in the area.

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Back in April of 2020, locals saw two bald eagles at 10th and Grand Street. Only a week later, there was a seal spotted hanging out by the Hudson in Hoboken. At the end of 2020, a humpback whale breached in the Hudson.

There’s also, of course, a host of other bird species throughout Hudson County beyond pigeons, ducks, and geese. It isn’t uncommon to spot the occasional skunk or possum, either.

HG will update this article as more information arises. In the meantime, stay in the know with @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok.

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