If there is a bird feeder in your front or backyard and it's not at least five feet above the ground -- or if it's attracting a group of pesky squirrels -- you can consider yourself a lawbreaker.
A new wildlife feeding ordinance passed in November by the Stratford Town Council prohibits the feeding of wildlife (birds) that attracts rodents (squirrels). The ordinance also says bird feeders must be at least five feet above the ground.
The penalty for being found in violation of the new law is a written warning for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second offense, a $200 fine for the third offense and a $300 fine for all subsequent offenses.
The ordinance also flat-out prohibits any feeding of wildlife in any public park or on any other property owned or operated by the town of Stratford.
Kathie Powell of Stratford Road spoke in favor of the ordinance at the Town Council's November meeting.
"We shouldn't be drawing in wildlife," said Powell, who had a neighbor who would place bowls of food on her property for wildlife, which is now prohibited under the new ordinance.
Stratford resident John O'Leary, who contacted Stratford Patch via email, said the ordinance is unfair to birds.
"It may be a bad winter for birds in Stratford this year if this ordinance as written is allowed to stand," O'Leary wrote in an email dated Dec. 8.
O'Leary said a Town Council member said the ordinance was supposed to exempt the feeding of birds. However, he said, the new law as written "specifically prohibits it if it attracts other wildlife or rodents."
Do you think the ordinance might create some "angry birds"? Let us know by voting in our poll.
Editor's note: The original article has been updated to include the name of the resident who emailed Stratford Patch.