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Forest Park Bird Feeders to Return in Coming Weeks, City Says

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 1, 2017 6:19pm
 The Queens County Bird Club is hoping to install two bird feeders in Forest Park by the end of November. 
The Queens County Bird Club is hoping to install two bird feeders in Forest Park by the end of November. 
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — Forest Park chickadees, blue jays and cardinals won’t go hungry this winter after all.

A pair of bird feeders — one with seeds and the other with suet — will soon be installed in the popular green space, according to the Queens County Bird Club, which is currently raising money for them.

The group had maintained the feeders at the park for more than 15 years, but last year the Parks Department removed them because the group did not have formal permits, the club said. However, the agency said at the time that the feeders were taken away because they had fallen into disrepair.

The move upset birdwatchers visiting Forest Park, which is considered one of the best birding locations in the city.

The Queens County Bird Club has since reached an agreement with the agency, which will now work with the group to install and maintain the new feeders.

The department will also help the club store the feeders in the summertime, the group said. 

"New bird feeders will be installed in the coming weeks, near the vernal pond off of the closed road," Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor said.

Arie Gilbert, president of the bird club, specified that the feeders will be installed in the area surrounding the so-called "Water Hole,” near the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Park Drive, where the old feeders used to be.

The club, which is currently trying to raise $500 for the project via its website and Facebook page, is hoping to install the feeders by the end of November.

When the old feeders were removed, the group started an online petition asking local park-goers for their support, garnering about 460 signatures.

“Please restore the bird feeders. The birds need this to help them get through the cold winter months,” one petitioner wrote.

“We visit often and enjoy the winter time bird feeders," added another. "It brings some magic to life during the dead of winter." 

Gilbert stressed that it's important to feed the birds in the colder months.

"The least we can do is provide them some food and help them out," he said, "because it’s tough to survive the winter."