YBOR CITY, Fla. – The Ybor city roosters are so well-known by locals they even have their own advocacy group, but some people are complaining to the city council saying they want things to change.
The council says the main complaint of the residents is that the roosters are too loud and that it's affecting their sleep. They want officials to change the ordinance that currently protects the birds from being moved.
The ordinance declares that Tampa is a sanctuary city for all birds – that means the roosters can't be altered, moved or trapped in any way.
But other residents are advocating for the animals. They even have a Facebook group dedicated to birds that has over 1,500 members.
The 'Ybor Chickens Society' argues that the ordinance should stay the way it is because the birds are an important historic link to the founding of the city. And, they say, the birds are an economic driver.
"Nearly every day, YCS members talk with visitors about the fowl - some who are surprised to find that we have such a unique charm and others who are visiting in order to see some of them in person, after getting to know them on our social media," the group wrote on their Facebook page.
Some residents agree with the Ybor Chickens Society.
Casey Wilson works in Ybor and he admits the birds can get annoying but, he says, they are part of the culture of the city.
"I think that it’s perfectly fine they can be here, they’re not causing any trouble. In fact, it brings people to Ybor," he said.
Tony Bowker lives in Ybor, right next to the roosters. Even though he says they can be messy and dig up the ground a lot, he's enjoyed watching them grow over the years.
"I enjoy their diversity, the different colors in different styles. I like to see the generations come through, I think it’s all good," Bowker said.
As for those who are complaining, Ybor Chickens Society says they're exaggerating. And in some cases, they say the complaints are completely untrue.
The city council will discuss the ordinance at their meeting on Thursday.