Don’t Pester the Pigeons!
Can you imagine sitting in a park, picnicking with your pals, eating a sandwich or trying to sleep, when all of a sudden people run right through your party and start chasing you? Sounds pretty rude, doesn’t it? Well, tons of people – kids and adults alike – do this to pigeons, starlings and other birds. Find out why it’s a big deal to the birds – and why you and others should stop doing it.
When you chase a group of pigeons – or even just one bird that’s all alone – you are definitely affecting their health and well-being. It’s easy to see that the birds aren’t having any fun – even though you may be. Their hearts are probably racing a mile a minute. This includes birds like pigeons, geese, ducks, starlings and others. In fact, after you read this article, you’ll see why you should never chase or disturb any type of bird – ever.
Six Things You Didn’t Know About Pigeons
Lots of people think pigeons are dirty birds that don’t deserve any respect. Well, that’s totally wrong; pigeons are incredible! Here’s a few reasons why:
- Pigeons can fly very fast, up to 50 miles per hour – and can cover 600 miles in one day!
- An adult female pigeon is called a hen. When her babies are learning to eat they’re called peepers or squeakers.
- Adult pigeons have better eyesight than humans because they can see all colors, as well as ultraviolet light (which we can’t), and can memorize up to 300 different photographs and tell them apart in an instant!
- Pigeons never complain about their dinner – they only have 37 taste buds, while humans have 9,000!
- Pigeons drink by sucking up water using their beaks like straws!
- Pigeons can live up to 15 years and once they fall in love they stay with the same mate for life. Aww!
Did You Know?
- The pigeons we see in cities today are a kind of dove called a rock dove. They were brought to the U.S. from Europe by early settlers. Since doves are the universal symbol for peace, you’d think pigeons would get more respect!
- Starlings were brought to America by a guy who loved Shakespeare. Since Shakespeare mentions the birds often in his plays and poems, this settler thought the U.S. wouldn’t be complete without starlings!
- Besides pigeons and other birds, squirrels also live in many of our public parks. They live mostly in trees, drink from fountains and look for nuts and leftover picnic crumbs. All these creatures have as much (or more) right to be there as we humans do. Let’s leave them in peace and let them share our public spaces!
- At least one goose has saved a human being’s life. It happened on a farm. A little girl was wandering too close to the edge of an embankment when a goose grabbed her shirt in his bill and pulled back hard, saving her from falling over the edge!
What You Can Do
If you see little kids (or even older adults) chasing pigeons or scaring other birds and animals, talk to them gently. If they’re young, they don’t know any better, so it’s not their fault. Tell them why it’s wrong to chase birds and animals and let them know that it’s much better (for everyone!) just to watch these creatures from afar and leave them in peace to eat, sleep and do their thing.
If you’re ever visiting a park that has trails, stick to the trail. Wandering off the path means you run the risk of disturbing the homes of wild birds and animals.
If you ever see a group of ducklings swimming or walking alone without their mother, chances are they’ve been orphaned. Look around for mom and, if you don’t see her, you can pick the ducklings up gently, put them in a box in a warm, safe, quiet place, and call your local wildlife rescue.
If you see a mother duck or goose and her ducklings or goslings by the side of a road, help them out by getting an adult to stop traffic for a couple of minutes. Then gently herd (don’t yell, run or chase!) the family across the street. Usually, the mom is looking for water, so if you know there’s a pond, lake or stream nearby, either slowly walk them over there or gently put the ducklings in a box and walk them over to the water. Mom will follow you (since you have her ducklings) until you release them.
For the Birds
There’s tons of info on the Internet about birds like pigeons, ducks and geese that need humans to understand them better.. For example, visit Geese Peace for facts about saving geese.
Have Your Say
Do you love all animals, including birds? Will you try and educate more people about why they shouldn’t chase pigeons, starlings, ducks, geese and other birds? Tell us in the Comments section below!