"Six racing pigeons in Belgium were found to have been doped with drugs such as cocaine and painkillers, newspapers in the country say."
"It’s no secret that I love pigeons. They have been a fascination of mine since I was a young boy, and they continue to bring me great peace even now. People are curious as to why I have such great affection for them. The answer is simple. It’s because they aren’t difficult to understand. Unlike human beings that have the capacity to manipulate and deceive one another, they are basically animals of habit. If you treat them well, feed them, give them safe housing and lots of love, you can expect a good relationship with them." —Mike Tyson, oddly like Bert from Sesame Street.
Today's Times's "Complaint Box" is given over to one Louise Dreier, the recent beneficiary of a master's degree in urban planning from Columbia. Her topic? "It's time New York regarded pigeons as the major nuisance they are-they're simply rats with wings." 1. Okay, I guess they already did airplane food? And 2. Yes I know we are at war with the birds, but the pigeons were not a combatant-they were an ally. And: 3. This weird bias against Columbidae must stop. Those of us who have read Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird know that this trash-talking and, yup, CASUAL RACISM [...]
"When you think about it, why don't you see carcasses more often of most small (sparrow) to medium-sized (pigeon) birds? The answer is that most are cryptically colored (blends in to the background) and that decay processes and scavengers clean them up quickly. In Atlanta, from April through October, blowflies and ants can reduce a dead sparrow to a pile of loose feathers in a few days. In winter, opossums, raccoons, rats, cats, dogs, skunks, foxes, coyotes, crows, and Turkey Vultures clean up the dead. These same scavengers operate in the warmer months too, but blowflies often beat them to the punch…. Yes, the world would be a lot [...]
"Scientists surveyed 82 species of passerine birds, including sparrows, pigeons and anything that perches, in and around 12 cities in central Europe. They classified the birds as those that breed in the heart of the city or those that avoid the hustle and bustle. And then they compared the bird brains. The results? Birds that prosper on the city streets have larger brains than their pastoral relations. So it seems that novel environments, including urban landscapes, may select for street smarts—at least for birds that flock toward the city lights." —Huh. Well. This could reinforce some unfortunate stereotypes, I guess. It seems, according to Science, that birds who [...]
Oh fine people of Brooklyn, won't you help find 'Dennis'? Last seen crossing Atlantic Ave. by Court Street!
Remember the part in You Can Count On Me, when Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney are out on the deck, talking and smoking a joint, and a moth flutters by and lands on Ruffalo's hand, and just sits there for a moment while the scene continues, before fluttering away? It is one of my favorite things to have ever happened in any movie, that. (I am easily astonished, maybe.) Well, there's a part in this new Big K.R.I.T. video, directed by Vashtie, around the 1:15 point, when a pigeon flies between the camera and the basketball player who is practicing his foul shot (I think at the [...]
It’s March! Spring is coming! And no one knows what to do.
It’s very difficult to make up one’s mind about anything this time of year. It's very hard to commit. I’ve noticed it in the flock of pigeons that fly around outside my apartment all day. First of all, they seem to have doubled in number over the winter.