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This month’s bird

The Hairy Woodpecker

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Ten Great Birding Locations in Florida.

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A Michigan state lawmaker has introduced a new bill that he hopes will clear up a law he feels is “unconstitutional in its vagueness.” Dept. of Natural Resources and Environment officials are against it because they feel the new bill could help those looking to circumvent the law.

The homeowner operates a web site, www.snowmancam.com, where visitors can watch his bird feeders via web cam and donate money for bird seed. His feeders are often visited by bears, deer, squirrels, bobcats, birds and even people who visit from other parts of the state. A judge who overruled the charge said “the statute clearly intends to allow bird feeding, but only in some places and by some methods. It is not clear where or how,” she wrote in her opinion.  That law was imposed in 2008 as an attempt to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease in deer.

Under the new bill the incidental feeding of deer from bird feeders would be exempted. But wildlife officials feel it would weaken the original language and make it more difficult to prosecute where it is warranted. A spokesman for Michigan United Conservation Clubs said his group is behind the idea of ensuring those who feed birds are exempt from prosecution if they inadvertently feed deer or elk, but he doesn’t feel the new bill does that. “The bill needs to be tweaked,” he said, “so people who would use this as a loophole to feed deer and elk can’t do so.”