Sunlit Water

July 2, 2006


Filed under: Urban Living — by teofilo @ 5:09 pm

Interesting op-ed in the New York Times. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m phobic about birds. They absolutely terrify me. This is true of all birds, the bigger and the more feathery the worse, but in practical terms the worst kind is the pigeon, because, as the author of the op-ed points out, they’re not afraid of humans. Indeed, they’re quite keen on being around us and eating the food we drop, unlike most other birds one is likely to encounter in an urban setting.

Since I am in an urban setting, dealing with pigeons is an issue of great concern to me. I’ve found that I’ve been getting better about it; I’m comfortable with coming a lot closer to a pigeon than in the past, but still not as close as it’s comfortable with coming to me. When I’m walking with someone else, I’ll generally ask them to shoo away pigeons we encounter. When I’m walking alone, as I usually am, I try to hurry by while staying as far away on the sidewalk as possible from the offending bird. If it plants itself right in the middle of the sidewalk and shows no sign of leaving, I cross the street. I have occasionally been known to cross the street multiple times in the course of a single block.

Since all this is rather a hassle, I’m quite appreciative of efforts to control the pigeon population. I don’t particularly care for programs to kill off the birds–I fear them, but I don’t hate them–but if that’s the best way to reduce the population, it’s fine with me. It apparently isn’t, though, according to the op-ed writer, who supports dedicated dovecotes where people can feed the pigeons and workers can cull their eggs to prevent overpopulation. Sounds like a good idea to me, as long as I don’t have to come anywhere near the things.



  1. Last time I was in Philly, I saw three pigeons fighting over a fried chicken leg. They kept pecking at it, and pulling it away from one another. It was gruesome and hilarious.

    Since pigeons apparently eat their own, why not just train and arm a covert team of secret killer pigeons? Seems completely logical to me…

    Comment by Stanley — July 3, 2006 @ 5:12 pm |Reply

  2. Hey, if you want to train pigeons to kill each other, go right ahead. Just keep them away from me while they’re doing it.

    Comment by teofilo — July 3, 2006 @ 7:59 pm |Reply

  3. I try to hurry by while staying as far away on the sidewalk as possible from the offending bird

    This is a bad idea — the pigeon can smell your fear and will pursue and attack.

    Comment by Clownæsthesiologist — July 7, 2006 @ 6:25 am |Reply

  4. Nah, they’re too occupied with whatever’s on the ground. Trust me, it works fine.

    Comment by teofilo — July 7, 2006 @ 5:43 pm |Reply

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