A Bloomington man, accused of indulging his hobby to excess, had been charged with a misdemeanor.
A Bloomington man who was going to a jury trial Thursday on allegations of excessive bird feeding has settled with the city.
Craig Brown, who was charged with a misdemeanor for violating Bloomington's city code on feeding wildlife, said in an e-mail to the Star Tribune that a Hennepin County District Court judge has placed him on probation for a year. If Brown faces no similar charges and meets the terms during that time, the case will be dismissed and no misdemeanor charge will appear on his record. He also agreed to pay $500 in court costs.
In the e-mail, Brown said the settlement "was the best possible outcome for me at this time" and satisfied his main concern that he have a clean record.
Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson confirmed the deal and said Brown was never at risk of going to jail. The city simply wanted to "educate and change behavior," she said.
Neighbors had complained about Brown's bird feeding off and on over about five years, saying he was scattering feed on the ground and attracting large numbers of ducks, crows, deer and rodents. Brown denied that he had done that.
In his e-mail, Brown said that publicity over his case had been stressful and that he hoped life would now calm down.
"I am not worried about anything happening during the upcoming year of probation because I have long ago taken all of my feeders down and I am done feeding the birds as long as I live here in Bloomington," Brown wrote. "I will continue to keep my three water sources in my backyard for the birds to drink from and bathe in, so we still will get a chance to occasionally see some birds out there through our windows."
MARY JANE SMETANKA