Pigeon Lover Fights for Her Rights

They fly in every day by the hundreds, crowding power lines and rooftops, dropping feathers, waiting for their next meal.

They are pigeons (search). And for four years they have not gone hungry, thanks to Ania Nowak and her mother, who pour birdseed by the bucketful into a fountain-sized feeder every day outside their Woodridge, N.J. (search), home.

Nowak says she is not just a pigeon lover, she's a friend to all feathered critters — but the people of Woodridge say she's out of control.

"Until she started with the pigeons ... nobody had pigeons around here!" said neighbor Connie Sansevere.

Neighbors who'd like to barbecue in their backyards say the chubby birds are raining — literally — on their parade.

"Very bad, very bad, very bad," said Sansevere of the Category 3 storm of pigeon poop that she and her neighbors are regularly forced to duck. "My grandson got it on his arm, my granddaughter got it on her face two weeks ago ... all over her face and hair. I can't take this no more, I can't."

Nowak says town law entitles her to a single birdfeeder. But neighbors complain that the hundreds of pigeons she draws soil their yards, roofs and sidewalks, creating a health hazard.

"It's a known fact they cause disease and germs and everything else, and it's not like they're contained to her area," said neighbor Rich Amberg. "They are loose throughout the whole neighborhood here."

The town has fined Nowak twice for nuisance and health violations (search) and has re-written its bird ordinance to forbid feeding pigeons. It has even gone so far as to fight the bird doo-doo with noise pollution: A $1,800 sound system on the roof of its Borough Hall blasts the cries of falcons and hawks every 15 minutes to scare off Nowak's visitors.

But Nowak, acting as her own lawyer, has appealed every summons against her and insists the mostly Italian town is out to violate her civil rights because she is a Polish immigrant.

"It has nothing to do with birdfeed," Nowak said. "I'm not stopping because I stand up for my rights. It's a matter of principle. It's a matter of my constitutional right to have one birdfeeder."

Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by FOX News' Rick Leventhal.