Don Antal carries buckets of birdseed from his backyard to the feeders in the front.

SODUS POINT — Wayne County Sheriff Ron Milby admits he’s frustrated.

On Friday, deputies from his office, acting on a complaint from the village of Sodus Point, ticketed Don Antal a third time in about as many weeks for violating a code that prohibits him from having more than two bird feeders on his property.

Antal, 71, has irked his Third Street neighbors repeatedly by insisting on feeding birds from “cookie tray” bird feeders on his lawn. There were as many as 23 bird feeders on his property Friday, deputies said. He also has two feeder trays on a makeshift riser that is 5 feet off the ground to comply with the village ordinance in that respect.

That doesn’t impress Milby, whose deputies have been to Antal’s residence numerous times over the past few years — so many times that Antal has said he greets the officers by their names when they come to ticket him.

“When a person violates laws or codes ... it is our job to make the arrest,” Milby said. “I have nothing against birds, and it takes time out of the day for sure, but where do you draw the line?”

The neighbors have told Sodus Point Mayor Dave McDowell that because Antal has so many feeders, mice and other animals inevitably drag the feed into their homes, causing damage and otherwise being a nuisance. McDowell said he gets constant emails and complaints about it; he does not get complaints from anywhere else in the village about vermin, he noted.

Milby provided a photo that was taken of a herd of deer with a Third Street resident’s camera, but the sheriff could not tell where the deer actually were in relation to Antal’s house. There were no trays visible in the photo.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has taken a “hands-off” stance in the matter, Milby added.

The sheriff said he’s also heard that squirrels Antal feeds with peanuts have made nests in nearby homes.

Antal said he doesn’t think that the way he feeds the wildlife — to encourage flocks – exacerbates his neighbors’ problems with mice.

He has twice paid fines for violating the ordinance. It is a violation and is punishable by a $250 fine or 15 days in jail. The three tickets are pending in Sodus Town Court, according to a clerk there. The mayor thought that Antal was scheduled to be in court last week, but the clerk said that was incorrect.

“We are still waiting on the officers,” she said.


  • Don Antal
  • Sodus Point
  • Bird Feeders
  • Squirrels
  • Ordinance
  • Violation

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