Katherine Spiller, 66, was shocked when she was banned by the council from feeding her feathered friends – and landed a hefty fine when she continued to feed the critters.
Ms Spiller, a retired library assistant from East Oxford, was handed a community protection notice by Oxford City Council in February last year after neighbours complained about swarms of pigeons flocking to her house.
But a court heard the “habitual bird feeder” failed to abide by the notice, and continued to feed the pigeons at her east Oxford home.
Oxford Magistrates” Court was shown pictures of dozens of pigeons perched on the roof and window ledges of her terraced house, and even sitting on neighbouring buildings.
Ms Spiller, who did not attend the hearing, sent a letter to the court admitting she failed to comply with the community protection notice – and she has been left devastated after being slapped with fines and costs totalling a mammoth £2,443.
Magistrates handed Katherine a fine of £640 for breaching the order, and ordered her to pay a £64 victims surcharge and £1,729 prosecution costs.
During the hearing Jeremy Franklin, representing Oxford City Council, said Ms Spiller flouted the notice eight times between August and October 2015, and told magistrates how neighbours reported her to the council for continuing to put out bird seed.
Mr Franklin said: “The defendant is a habitual feeder of birds, mostly pigeons, which congregate around her house in large numbers, causing a certain amount of distress and antagonism to the neighbours.
“The warning notice required the defendant to cease dropping bird seed or foodstuffs that would encourage birds, vermin or other animals in her garden or anywhere and to keep her garden free from weeds and plants providing shelter to vermin and other animals.
“Despite the imposition of the notice, the defendant was found to have breached it by continuing to feed the pigeons.
“Those charged with dealing with this problem are at their wits end.”
Mr Franklin said the city council might have to take further action to stop Ms Spiller feeding pigeons if she does not change her ways.
Speaking from her home, Ms Spiller said: “The birds like being fed but now you can’t feed them in town.
“There was not the same law in place at the time when I first began feeding them in 1995.
“They could be an amenity for people who lack a bit of company. I don’t have a partner or children so the pigeons were my only company, and people do look for company in the pigeons.”