Pigeon problem pits neighbor against neighbor in Pearl City

Pigeon problem pits neighbor against neighbor in Pearl City
Published: Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:44 AM HST|Updated: Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:41 AM HST
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Florence Tanaka
Florence Tanaka
Shigeko Mukai
Shigeko Mukai
Raymond Rapoza
Raymond Rapoza

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Pigeon poop and feral feathers flying! It's a mess that's pitting neighbor against neighbor in Pearl City.

Residents say two nearby homeowners won't stop feeding, what's become, a daily flock of pigeons. It's a chronic, decade-long problem that they've tried to solve on their own - to no avail. The neighbors in question say: all these complaints - are for the birds.

"Shoo, shoo!" Florence Tanaka and her mother wish those pigeons would fly the coop, once and for all. "It is very frustrating."

Pigeons on their roof, on window sills - dropping poop across property, cars, and solar panels - while flicking filthy feathers into their yards. The smell grew, too.

Tanaka says, "It got to the point where my parents couldn't open the windows to their bedroom and bathroom - and then, even the kitchen - which also faces that neighbor's home."

That neighbor, Raymond Rapoza - and another nearby resident, Masaki Murakami - feed about 100 pigeons and another 100 finches twice a day. The community says it's tried reasoning with them, but the feedings continue.

"They were nice people until they started to feed the pigeons," says 80 Shigeko Mukai, "because we got along."

Mukai says she complained to the health department over a decade ago. Inspectors came out. The feedings stopped but only for a short time. So, Mukai gave up.

"Well, you need to forgive and forget and try to be happy because I didn't want to develop stress in me, anymore, you know, get sick over it - so that's what I did all these years."

But then, neighbors started comparing notes and potential problems. Tanaka's mother, for instance, is trying to sell her home and fears this will cause a delay. The daughter says, "That may affect the property value and may affect the sale and marketability of this house."

Neither Rapoza nor Murakami would talk on camera, but they told our Lisa Kubota that they've only received one complaint each - and that was years ago. Both men are animal lovers who believe they're doing a good thing caring for the birds, and since it's not illegal, they don't see anything wrong with it.

There's no law on the books yet. However, on Tuesday, state lawmakers on the Judiciary committee will hear testimony on House bill 15 and House bill 619 – that would make it illegal to feed feral birds, if they cause a nuisance, health risk, or damage to other people's property.

You can submit testimony to lawmakers, on-line, at On the left hand side, enter HB15 and/or HB619 in the search box marked Bill Status/Measure Status.

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