An important part of birding in a city park is not being upset or caught up in what your fellow humans do. Last fall while I was volunteering for the international coastal cleanup we were scouring the edge of the lake, picking up every last bottle cap and cigarette butt. Right behind us, someone walked up and dumped at least twenty pounds of leftover food onto the ground- rice, meat in a big congealed lump. They were feeding the birds. Our supervisor said “I know I shouldn’t let it get to me, but it is so bad for the birds and the lake” and proceeded to shovel the food into one of our ready garbage bags, annoying the geese who were eyeing their takeout.
There is a lot for me to learn about the politics and science of feeding the birds (don’t even get me started on the cats…) But for now I am trying to just observe and not jump to any conclusions. Luckily for me there are spots farther into the park where you can avoid rotting food and begging animals.