Man closing backyard bird 'sanctuary' to the public after lawsuit

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BAITING HOLLOW -

Bird lovers from across Long Island used to flock to a Baiting Hollow backyard to see hummingbirds, but the property will no longer be open to the public following a court battle.

After buying his property and noticing some hummingbirds around, Paul Adams had added plants to his yard over the years that would attract more and more of the quick-moving creatures. Eventually, he began opening his home up to people who share his love for the birds.

"I started to call it a hummingbird sanctuary, although it's just my backyard, really. I was trying to create a place where they could hang out," Adams says.

When word got out about Adams' property, which sits on a long, winding dirt road, bird lovers and members of the public starting dropping by. That's when a neighbor started complaining about the car traffic, and then filed a lawsuit against Adams.

After three years of court battles, Adams decided to settle. Starting Sept. 15, he's agreed to have only friends and invited guests to his home -- and members of the public are no longer welcome.

Although Adams admits he's sad, he says he's been overwhelmed by the support he's received from the community.

Experts say hummingbird lovers who want to attract the birds to their own yards should plant brightly colored, tubular-shaped flowers, such as trumpet flowers. The birds also like feeders that contain sugar water.

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