Tag Archives: springfield

The Pigeon Thing

I drank coffee at 8 o’clock tonight.  Which was good because I applied for a few jobs that seem promising, but now I can’t sleep and I started reading my pigeon book and I’m about to go on a rampage about how much I love them.  Bear with me. 

I told someone I like the way they walk and their colorings, but really it’s so much more than that.  I haven’t even been able to bring myself to sit down and read the pigeon book because…you know when something strikes a chord with you so much that it makes you kind of anxious?  Maybe that’s it.  Or maybe I’m kind of crazy, which could totally be it, too.  But I don’t mind.

First off, I love anything that’s quirky.  And pigeons are so quirky.  They wobble around until they get startled and then they wobble in a new direction.  Sometimes they wobble in circles.  And no two pigeons are exactly alike.  Okay, most of them are gray, but they’ve got these cool metallic variations, too.  And some are brown, some are white, some are brownish-white.  Some are missing talons, which could mean they were born deformed, or it could mean they were in a pigeon brawl.

I think the main reason I developed such a deep appreciation for them, though, is just because so many people despise them or ignore them.  Plus I grew up in Springfield, Mass, where they used to have an entire television channel that consisted of one camera aimed at a nest of peregrine falcons.  Peregrine falcons are birds of prey, so obviously they look nothing like pigeons, but you know.  I was ingrained with the ability to watch things that aren’t all that exciting. 

Also, my mom keeps a bird feeder.  Mourning doves are a frequent visitor.  Mourning doves and pigeons are practically the same thing, except that pigeons are like their older, more hardcore cousins.  You know, the cousins that got into drugs and have seen some fucked up stuff in their day, but they just keep trekkin.  That’s the pigeon.  Five stints in rehab, but the pigeon is still optimistic and thinks the world could be a nice place.  It doesn’t let you miserable, impatient pedestrians get it down.  So stop being so miserable and impatient and appreciate the goddam pigeon, will ya?  They’re beautiful.  You gotta find the beauty no one else sees.

According to the pigeon book, Woody Allen called pigeons “rats with wings.”  This might not come as such a surprise, but I like rats, too. 

Anyway, this is the quote from the pigeon book that got me going.  The author quotes this ornithologist from Kansas, Richard Johnston, who says: “The special qualities of feral pigeons are rarely recognized as special, which is a result of the way humans perceive the natural world.  Dominant western worldviews have taught that nature exists for human use and that humans are its custodians or curators, fundamentally apart from the natural world.  This philosophic position has been unprofitable in many ways…”        

There is one thing I don’t really like about pigeons, though–the males have this mating dance that makes my stomach turn.  They puff up and run at the female and it’s pretty gross.  As much as I like pigeons I don’t want to see them mate.  I’m not that crazy.