Southern Brooklyn

Please, For The Love Of God, Stop Feeding The Birds!

Stop Feeding the Birds, Please
Stop feeding the birds, and stop littering, you disgusting creep.

To be fair, I haven’t walked under an underpass that wasn’t covered in bird shit. I also haven’t walked under an underpass that wasn’t littered with bread crumbs and discarded rolls. Despite this, ever since I officially moved to Sheepshead Bay last month, the condition of the underpass beneath the B and Q line (East 15th Street between Z and Sheepshead Bay Road) has particularly disgusted me.

It is impossible that I am the only one revolted by the condition of the underpass outside the train station. Yesterday, I took the picture shown above at 5:30 p.m. when hundreds of people were filing off the B train after a long day of work. It was a hot and rainy day and dozens of people like me were hurriedly trying to cross Sheepshead Bay Road as they exited the station.

I felt the frustration of a few people walking in my path when I stopped quickly to take a picture of the bread crumbs, bird shit and garbage lining the underpass across the street from the Dunkin’ Donuts. There is little room to navigate on the street when a good 30 percent of it is littered with horrifying, rat-attracting trash.

Here is my question, which one of you jerks feels the obligation to feed the pigeons under the train? Don’t you understand that there is plenty of random garbage and food bits in the entire tri-state area just lying around for the birds to feed off of? These birds have survived thousands of years before there ever was a city and they do not need your help. They have wings, they can fly all day until they find a more appropriate feeding ground.

The underpass is sickening. I’ve seen dead pigeons lying in a pool of bread crumbs mixed with garbage at least five times under that bridge. Five times! In roughly six months!

I’m not sure if they died of natural causes or from overeating but the image is enough to stir the worst fears of total urban decay.

Come on, people. When you litter you lower the quality of life for everyone in the neighborhood. You encourage others, especially young people, to disrespect the neighborhood and perpetuate the cycle.

If you want to feed birds, go to the Bay or an open public park and toss a few bread crumbs within reason. Do not, for the love of God, toss whole rolls under train bridges that thousands of people walk by every day. It is disgusting and you should know better.

Comment policy


  1. In general, Sheepshead Bay Road really grosses me out. It really smells from all the stores dumping their waste onto the road. Add to that the livery drivers lining the block and the god-awful underpass you speak of, it makes me sad when I bring visitors to the area because this is the first impression of the area they get when they get off the train. If I were them, I would turn around and get back on the train and just assume the place is a dump. It’s terrible.

  2. I agree It’s gross and something needs to be done about it. I Only use the Voorhies Avenue Exit! Yes, it takes me a block or two out of my way and leaves me with no other option but walking. Even in the rain and cold snow I would rather do that then walk down under the sheepshead bay road exit and down avenue Z.

  3. reminds me of the time i was feeding tiny pretzel crumbs to pigeons outside Hunter College. They went after the food right away

  4. What about that brown foamy smelly stuff on the top of the water around Pier 1 on the bay? Anyone know what’s up with that?

  5. What makes you think the filth there is from people feeding the birds. I’ve seen homeless people in the spot pictured. How do you know they didn’t leave that garbage?

  6. Well, the cups and plastic bags certainly are not left there by pigeons. Wouldn’t it be to the benefit of the shop owners in this area to work together and keep this area clean? Sometime it pays to take matters into your own hands. The city obviously won’t do it.

  7. Ho ho ho. Telling New Yorkers not to litter? For us, that is a civil liberty, just as jay walking is a natural right. Realistically, you may get people in New Ulm, MN not to litter, but New Yorkers have been bred to litter since ancient times. As long as there is a Brooklyn, there will be litter.

  8. Another New Yorker proud of their bad attitude and anti-social behavior. Being civilized and cooperative? Who cares! We’re New Yorkers and if you don’t like it you’re probably some small towner and we’re way cooler than you can ever hope to be.

    Yeah, New York has everything..except class.

  9. The arrogance of being stopped at a red light, rolling down the window and throwing out garbage is beyond belief. People who litter are selfish, lazy morons.

  10. I wrote my comment tongue in cheek. If you think about it, it is usually people who make comments similar to mine who do not litter. I do jay walk every chance I can though.

  11. I was swimming in Manhattan Beach yesterday when something seemed to drop out of the sky and fall into the water. I first thought that a sea gull had died and plummeted down. Then I realized someone took a plastic bag of garbage and threw it in the ocean.

  12. Fly in hungry birds to eat the trash. Less trash on street. More birds get full bellies. Everybody wins.

  13. Not to mention those newspaper/magazine/cut flower stand roadblocks set up by the 2 shops to the east of the subway exit, causing major pedestrian traffic jam during rush hour. Per, “stores are allowed to have outside displays of merchandise, but they may extend no more than 3 feet into the sidewalk from the building and no
    higher than 5 feet.”

    As for livery cabs lining the block, at least most of them turn their engines off nowadays, though probably due to the price of gas instead of for the consideration of people around them. For many years, that strip of block was a major smog zone.

  14. Years ago while visiting Ithaca NY I went over to the Cornell laboratory/school of orthnology and actually asked those fabulous brain boxes for their opinion about feeding city pigeons. They told me that pigeons main instinct is to hunt for food, eat food and reproduce. The idiots who feed them bread crumbs are actually interfering with this prime instinctive directive, and givens the birds more time to procreate, which means more pigeons to hunt for food. The humane thing to do is to leave those birds alone; they won’t starve.

  15. Sad but true. Brooklyn seems to be font of low brow social interaction, like littering, jay walking and loud music. But, at least we aren’t killing one another like they are doing in Chicago, the windy city, on a regular basis. It’s up to you, New York, New York.

  16. the entire length of emmons avenue looks like garbage dump with broken glass, chicken bones, tons of bread crumbs, etc. there are several individuals that come to the avenue with full-sized black garbage bags full of bread and empty them out into the bay and on the sidewalk. i took pictures of those people in the process, took pictures of their license plates, but the Sanitation Department was not interested in investigating and fining the aforementioned a**holes. again, these are people that do this religiously on everyday basis.

  17. Um. Now I know where the local Asian supermarkets got their 3-for-$1 bagels from. Somehow I doubt that they ordered them fresh. Those Asian bottle collectors having a “job on the side” collecting other stuff for recycling, besides the usual plastics and aluminum.

    Just kidding.

    By the way, Those bagels were still soft and tasty 2-3 days after I bought them. There was a wide selection too, from plain to sesame to raisin.

    I suppose there are better ways putting less than today fresh but perfectly edible food into good use or maybe profit, rather than feeding the birds, or throwing them away and then the occasional dumpster diver rescuing those food for the birds or other “repurposing.”

  18. Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robins, Towne Cafe/Bar and the office building keep the sidewalk on the other side is very clean, or perhaps the wind blows the the garbage toward the subway/track side 🙂

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