OPINION: Rep. Gregg Takayama vs. Bird Poop

April 2, 2013, 4:38 PM HST
* Updated April 2, 4:41 PM
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Someone’s been watching too many Hitchcock films.

Rep. Gregg Takayama (D-Pearl City) is spearheading the state legislature’s latest attempt to plead insanity.

House Bill 619 (in its latest form) would authorize the director of health to investigate and prohibit the feeding of “feral birds.”

The bill came about after much arm-flapping by Takayama’s constituents, who were fed up with the copious amount of white dielectric material (aka bird poop) they claim is screwing with their solar panels. The smell apparently isn’t great either.

According to Takayama, the residents claimed that their neighbors’ habit of feeding wild pigeons was the cause of great misery, thus inspiring him to launch a crusade against those who would dare to feed a finch.


Repeating a common legislative theme this year, the bill is absurdly broad, applying to virtually any flight-worthy creature that doesn’t reside in a cage (save for chickens. Takayama must think they smell like KFC).


Before being plucked down to its current form, HB 619 had actually proposed making the feeding of wild birds a violation of the penal code.

The one-size-fits-all approach to the bill is of course ignorant. What’s good for Pearl City isn’t great for, say, Puna, where homeowners often sit on an acre or more of land.

Sorry kids, no more feeding Mr. Quack-Quack. Photo by Ben Gaddis.

Sorry kids, no more feeding Mr. Quack-Quack. Photo by Ben Gaddis.

Why strip our more rural communities of the simple joy of chucking a half-eaten papaya into the backyard?


This could also make juvenile offenders out of children who throw bread crumbs at ducks. The poor kids just want to see something waddle and quack, for criminy’s sake. We’ve already instructed them that feeding a nene could get you tackled by the Feds.

And what, pray tell, should we do with all our leftover rice?

It’s safe and acceptable to refer to HB 619 by its proper scientific term: A piece of crap.

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