The Berkshires of western Massachusetts is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Residents and visitors enjoy all the culture and beauty the county has to offer and most share a love of the great outdoors.

If you live in this special part of Massachusetts, one of its many perks is that compared to urban living, most homes have large properites, some with acres upon acres of green space. For many that have moved to the Berkshires from the Boston or NYC metro areas, the chance to live among trees, and of course wildlife, is a dream come true. To be able to kick back on your deck, enjoy the stunning views and perhaps watch the birds flock to you carefully place feeder. However, according to a newly passed law in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, that bird feeder could earn you a fine.

The small southern Berkshire town just passed a new law making it illegal to feed wildlife, and bird feeders may not be an exception to that rule. David Wattles, a black bear biologist with Mass Wildlife said the following via The Berkshire Eagle: 

It does not preclude the use of bird feeders, however … people hide behind this in some cases to where they say, ‘I’m just feeding the birds.’ They have 17 bird feeders out in the backyard or they have trays of black oil sunflower seed. They’re clearly feeding other wildlife.


The law came about from the town's concern over bears breaking into homes and vehicles, which happen on a semi regular basis. Local officials saw the need to regulate people who's behavior, intentional or otherwise, was drawing bears and other wildlife to areas they should not be, not just for the well being of residents, but the animals as well. While intentionally feeding wildlife with an excessive amount of bird feeders might draw you a fine, it would not currently be an arrestable offense. Other actions that could be ticketed include improper securing of trash or compost that could attract bears as well.

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