the pigeon man

Before I say anything more, I should explain that I don’t approve of the feeding of wild creatures. Even pigeons, so close to domestication that they consider our homes to be their homes too, should be able to find their own food. Experts tell us that animals and birds increase their populations when there’s more food, and we don’t need more pigeons. Now a few sparrows, hopping around your feet while you’re sitting at the park bench, that’s different; it’s fun to watch them picking up the crumbs that fall (accidentally of course) from my sandwich. And I will admit that we do have a couple — no make that three — birdfeeders in our backyard, but they are there for research purposes, so we can identify the different local species. And they do provide endless entertainment for our cat, who isn’t allowed to go outside without his collar and bell. Our dogs are good at chasing away the pigeons, and reminding the smaller birds that they are wild, and there’s a perfectly good field of seeds on the other side of the fence. So — I hope my point is clear — we should be leaving animals and birds to fend for themselves. With a few exceptions, of course.

Taken on August 9, 2010


4 thoughts on “the pigeon man

  1. fair enough, but there is a tradition that i got from my grandmother, that feeding the birds gets rid of all the stressy things that happen, or thats written in your destiny. it is as if the Angels take your problems through the feeding of the birds. i suppose it is something that one can get so involved in that one loses track of ones self, and thoughts, and worries.

    • That’s a lovely tradition, yasser; I will remember that. I was only half serious about not feeding the birds, because I know that feeding and watching them is a (mostly) harmless joy.

  2. Actually, feeding the birds in winter (not too close to your windows that they might collide with) is a good thing. It helps the birds through some of the coldest winter weather and aids them in reaching breeding season in better condition, allowing them to get on with nesting sooner and with better success. Considering how we spray their food sources with poisons and destroy their habitat, it is a minor correction for the harm we do. Pigeons aren’t native, but they are mostly city residents, so I’m happy for you to feed them and keep them there : )

  3. Thanks for the info, barefootheart. It’s good to know that winter feeding helps the birds, but it’s so hard to stop when all the lovely migrants arrive in the spring. We have cut back, but we can’t resist putting some out, if only for the pleasure of watching their social antics. Pigeons, on the other hand… pie, anyone?

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