October 24, By Tara Law
The Parks Dept and a local bird watching organization will soon be installing bird feeders in Forest Park.
The installation comes after the Parks Dept. was criticized last year for removing the feeders that had been at the park for 15 years and were maintained by the Queens County Bird Club.
The new feeders are slated to be installed in a few weeks, according to Parks Dept. spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.
Arie Gilbert, the president of the bird club, said that the Parks Dept. removed the feeders during a routine park cleanup by mistake. He said that the workers who tossed them out were not aware that they were being maintained.
The club, based in Douglaston, launched a petition last fall demanding that new feeders be installed. The petition ultimately generated 450 signatures.
Gilbert said that the club has been working closely with Parks in recent times to plan for the installation. Two new posts will be installed and equipped with multiple bird feeders and the club will continue to maintain the feeders going forward.
The Parks Dept. will install two types of feeders—platform feeders and suet feeders.
The platform feeders resemble boxes or birdhouses and are stocked with seeds. Suet feeders, which look more like cages, are for birds such as chickadees and wood peckers that like to eat suet, a beef fat blend, in the winter.
The feeders are likely to arrive before winter weather arrives.
“Winters are harsh and nature is cruel,” said Gilbert. “We tailor the parks for people, not for birds. The feeders make it up to them a little bit.”