The dossier spills over into two drawers of files full of hand-scribbled notes, maps marked with sharp black dots – and snapshots of a shadowy lady figure, scattering pigeon seed.

This is Laura Dodson’s nemesis.feeding pigeon

There was a time when Dodson went after the crack dealers in her Hollywood neighborhood with such a vengeance that city officials honored her with a plaque. Now, she has declared war on another urban scourge. For three years, she has enlisted snitches, set up overnight stakeouts, appealed for help from city leaders and the police.

Her quarry? Pigeon lady Susie Kourinian, the furtive form in the photos.

Kourinian is no ordinary bird lover. She earns her seed money as a seamstress to the stars; she appeared in InStyle magazine tweaking Cate Blanchett’s hem and is said to keep actresses such as Megan Mullally in finery.

That glittery occupation gives Kourinian the wherewithal to make a lot of pigeons happy. Kourinian once told police she spends $65,000 a year on bird feed – enough to dump 500 pounds of birdseed every day, a lifeline for the more than 5,000 pigeons who now populate the two square miles of this neighborhood northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Kourinian is reputedly so crafty that within moments, she can pop the trunk of her black sport utility vehicle, scatter 75 pounds of pigeon feed and disappear into the night.

She has been doing this for a decade, police say, but neither they nor Dodson’s small band of pigeon patrollers – dubbed “Citizen Pigeon” – have been able to stop her.

“When you realize how many hours and manpower it takes to catch the pigeon lady … ,” Dodson said. “She’s got the perfect crime because who else would have the resources to do this?”

Across the nation, a virtual war on pigeons has been waged in many ways: poisonings, electric wires, robotic falcons and even bird relocations to pigeon farms. In some places the mere mention of feeding bans has raised the ire of legions of pigeon fanciers who ridicule efforts to levy fines for tossing birds a handful of bread crumbs.

But pigeons will reproduce based on the amount of food available. In Hollywood, they have.

Stephanie Boyles, a wildlife biologist with the Humane Society who has developed pigeon control programs around the country, said she’s never seen anything like it. To get a sense of how bad the problem was, she once scattered some bread in a Hollywood parking lot.

Within moments, the bread was gone and thousands of eyes were upon her. An eerie cooing suggested they wanted more.

“I’ve traveled in Europe, I’ve been to New York City many, many times, Washington D.C. and Chicago … places that claim to have pigeon problems. They do, but compared to Hollywood, it’s not even a fair comparison,” Boyles said.

Critics maintain that pigeons do millions of dollars in damage a year nationwide. Their guano is caustic, and has been blamed for all sorts of problems, from poor water quality in Pismo Beach to the collapse of the Minneapolis bridge.

In Hollywood, critics say, the pigeons conflict with a beautification program aimed at reviving the famed neighborhood, for years blighted by dingy sex shops along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When officials took down the marquee of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to refurbish the building, pigeon guano had completely corroded the metal.

Legions of pigeons sit waiting for food on rooftops, under freeways and telephone lines, prompting business owners to put up canopies and umbrellas to protect customers.

“If I were to feed 5,000 cats a day, you know how many cats we’d see a year from now?” said Thaddeus Smith, who once used a jackhammer to get guano off the roof of his Music Box nightclub. “When we walk to lunch we see bird seed everywhere and thousands of pigeons sitting on wires saying `hmmm.”‘

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