VIDEO: Waste from ‘protected’ birds prompts health concerns from Brentwood family

 

BRENTWOOD (KRON) — A couple in Brentwood is dealing with animal waste that they can’t clean up, and it is causing major health concerns and worry among the neighbors.

But city officials say it’s not easy to solve this problem.

First, it was the noise. Then, it was the smell. And finally, it was the mess

“Essentially, we are like prisoners in our own home,” resident Danielle Witrykus said. “We go in. We have all of the windows shut. We have to even for health reasons.”

The problem is three different types of birds, and they are all protected under federal law.

“We’re constantly surrounded by this smell of bird waste,” Witrykus said. “Of these feathers. Of increased insects. There’s dead fish. There’s dead birds. There’s broken eggs, I mean it’s like a wasteland essentially.”

The family has been trying to solve the problem for months, but the tree is on city property and has grown over their back.

Brentwood says that while the birds are there, there’s nothing they can do.

“What angers me is people telling me that these birds, and what’s happening is more important than the health concerns for our family,” Witrykus said.

Another concern is that not only the birds are protected by federal law, but the feathers are also protected.

“We had to get special permission to even have the backyard cleaned, and it could only be slightly cleaned,” Witrykus said.

The problem is that the city can’t disrupt the bird’s habitat, something that is also affecting the neighbors.

“The poop is like white paint,” neighbor Stacy Hall said. “…Sticks all over, so it’s all over our backyard.”

The director of parks and rec said the city is working with an avian biologist to resolve the problem.

They expect the birds to migrate before the fall

“I understand that the birds are protected, but then also if you think about the real estate in Brentwood, how expensive it is that this is a huge investment for them,” Hall said.

California Fish and Wildlife said that once the nests are clear, then the city can cut the branches or even get rid of the tree.

“If her tree gets cut down, we’re hoping they don’t take someone else’s tree,” Hall said.

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