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Friday, April 13, 2007

My Pigeon

posted by on April 13 at 11:55 AM


So I wake up this morning and there’s a pigeon walking around on my deck. It won’t fly away when I try scare tactics. It flaps around, but can’t seem to achieve liftoff. It looks tired, perhaps injured. I call Brendan.

I’m not feeling hugely sympathetic toward this creature. I’m also not feeling ready to put my fingers all over a flapping, possibly injured bird first thing in the morning. I want the pigeon gone. I want it to stop shitting all over the place. But I don’t want to get my hands dirty, so to speak. I’m a heartless wimp.

I figure Brendan will be both heartless and ready to get his hands dirty. I think: Perhaps he’ll make a lunch of it. You know: snap the pigeon’s neck, pluck off its feathers, garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Or, at the very least, I figure Brendan will be supportive of getting this nonflying pigeon off of my deck somehow—either by carrying it down to the street for me or by tossing it over the side and letting it sink or fly, so to speak.

Harsh, I know. But the urban jungle is harsh. What else am I going to do? Nurse it back to health?

This, it turns out, is exactly what Brendan recommends. This man, who once stalked 12th Avenue in search of pigeon prey, now tells me to fetch a cardboard box and some breadcrumbs so that he can make a nest for my weakly flapping house guest.

How could I not comply? The urban hunter was more sympathetic than I was. I felt ashamed.

The pigeon gets 24 hours.

(Cross posted)

RSS icon Comments


Just don't name it. Once you've done that, you've got yourself a pet.

Posted by flamingbanjo | April 13, 2007 12:02 PM

I think you should name it Brendan.

Posted by Gloria | April 13, 2007 12:14 PM

When you find it dead you're going to have to quarantine yourself for 7 days--don't bring that bird flu into the office, Eli.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | April 13, 2007 12:17 PM

Isn't there somewhere out there you can take it and drop it off? We have a place out here in Philly for things like injured squirrels, etc. Karma you know.

Posted by Jersey | April 13, 2007 12:33 PM

Is it roosting? I once had a small deck off my bedroom (a lanai?) and a pigeon made it his personal pimp palace. I battled him all spring. I the morning he would start his cooo cooo coooing and it was obnoxious. Every day by the time i got hom from work he would be 3/4 of the way done building a nest. I would toss it off into the yard, but he re-built it every day! He also pooped all over the place. I went after him with scarecrows, stuffed animals, a wooden carved lizard, and eventually a tennis racket. all to no avail. I have to tip my hat to him. I ahve never had a more worthy advisary.

Posted by longball | April 13, 2007 12:48 PM

Holy spell check Longball!

Posted by longball | April 13, 2007 12:50 PM

Come in over the weekend and let it nest in one of Erica's desk drawers.

Posted by Jonah | April 13, 2007 12:50 PM

Be careful: it may be the reincarnated soul of the former resident.

(As usual, the New Yorker was way ahead of you).

Posted by Joe | April 13, 2007 1:03 PM

PAWS, Eli. PAWS. Call 'em. They won't make fun of you for calling about an injured/sick pigeon.

Look at it like this: You think the pigeon wants to be not-being-able-to-fly on your deck? Show some pity, man. The bird is sick or fucked up otherwise. Shit, maybe just even depressed.

As I never think that animals are stupid or do random things, I'll lobby you to show some sympathy. The kind that might be hoped for if the pigeon landed on your deck on purpose. Because of you, not in spite of you.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | April 13, 2007 1:12 PM
Posted by tenspeed | April 13, 2007 1:21 PM

You have a deck?

Posted by Boomer in NYC | April 13, 2007 1:57 PM

Just don't overfeed it.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 13, 2007 2:25 PM
Posted by nbp | April 13, 2007 2:42 PM

hard to muster sympathy for a rat with wings eh

Posted by matthew | April 13, 2007 2:48 PM

in reference to the new yorker article posted above: one day after my favorite most beloved dog died, a lost racing pigeon (with unusual b&w markings not dissimilar to my pup's) showed up on my back porch. i ignored it at first, but it just wouldn't leave, and definitely seemed weak and disoriented. it had an id band on it's leg, but no info that was helpful in tracking down an owner. so eventually we put out a box with some seed & water. after a few weeks it regained it strength, took a few practice flights and eventually flew away. it was just too weird to not be some kind of sign. spooky.

Posted by suey | April 13, 2007 3:34 PM

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