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Monday, April 7, 2008


posted by on April 7 at 11:49 AM

posted by news intern Chris Kissel

Last week, pigeons began appearing downtown with four-inch darts lodged in their heads. Befuddled onlookers snapped pictures of the gruesome sight—the pigeons, still alive and strutting, bobbing heads skewered on what appeared to be blow darts, shot from long, lung-powered tubes. Based on a few tips after Schmader first wrote about it, we decided to look into the gory story.


Although the darts appear to have been expertly aimed, the pigeons continue to live and breathe because, according to Dr. Conrad Kornman at the Broadway Veterinary Hospital, the darts “missed all of their vital organs,” and, additionally, “their brains are very small.” Small enough to evade the incoming darts, and small enough to allow the pigeons to continue stalking the Seattle waterfront like zombies. Still, the King County prosecutor’s office has filed no charges and SPD has been left with little clue as to the identity of the would-be pigeon assassin.

National, state and regional divisions of the Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the Parks Department and Animal Control, all of which are involved in various wildlife control efforts, denied involvement in the dartings. Sean Carrell, problem wildlife coordinator with Washington Fish and Wildlife, said government agencies often try to control the bird population, but that “folks within the trapping community would never do something like that.” The attacks on pigeons are more likely a case of disgruntled landowners “taking the law into their own hands,” Carrell says.

Dr. John Huckabee, a wildlife veterinarian with the Progressive Animal Welfare Society, agrees that the acts are probably the work of a lone gunman. He added that incidents such as this occur on an annual basis, with a usual spike in the spring and summer months. “As it gets sunnier and the days grow longer, we see an unfortunate number of birds people have been using for target practice,” he says.

Licenses are not required to exterminate the birds. Usually, businesses choose to implement humane, non-lethal methods of keeping them away, such as nets and spikes. Sometimes, says Carrell, emotions run high, and what starts as a matter of housekeeping becomes a personal vendetta, ending, in this case, in an untold number of pigeons meandering city streets with dart-pierced skulls.

RSS icon Comments


hmmm, maybe someone was trying to hunt pigeons?

Although I can't for the life of me pinpoint where they'd get such a crazy idea...

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | April 7, 2008 11:54 AM

pigeon enemy
shoot it

Posted by Crow | April 7, 2008 11:55 AM

thats a dart from a blowgun. They sell them at any sporting goods store. I used to have one as a kid

Posted by mnm | April 7, 2008 11:59 AM

@3, thanks for the scoop.

Posted by El Seven | April 7, 2008 12:03 PM

Animal abusers eventually graduate to domestic violence and child abuse. It's worth while to track these creeps down.

Posted by elenchos | April 7, 2008 12:04 PM

Say what you will about pigeons, but I actually see a huge issue with people firing darts in a well populated city.

Posted by Dougsf | April 7, 2008 12:15 PM

So what are the legally accepted ways of deterring/removing pigeons in the city/county? We get pigeons and then crows that like to roost under our eves. I don't mind the birds, but I do mind the TONS OF CRAP they leave on our driveway below. It's not a safe place for my young nieces to play around anymore.

Posted by drew | April 7, 2008 12:22 PM


That is about the dumbest shit I have ever heard.

Yeah, I guess if you enjoy torturing animals like dogs and cats like dalmer used to, then sure.

But hunting, fishing, etc... does not lead to domestic violence.

Another typical ignorant seattlite cosmo faggy response.

Fuck the pigeons, they are dirty, carry disease and make huge messes. If shotgun blasts were legal in the city limits, I'd have a blast.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 12:33 PM

What ECCE said. Plus the fact that they are an exotic species not native wildlife.

Posted by mickey in AR | April 7, 2008 12:36 PM

@8, The problem here is not that someone has reason to eliminate the pigeons, but that the method chosen appears to be inhumane and more effective as a torture device.

Posted by poo poo | April 7, 2008 12:39 PM

#10 it isn't inhumane.

It may be inefficient, but it isn't inhumane. These are FUCKING PIGEONS!

You can't legally fire a gun in the city limits (accept under very special circumstances). You can't shoot the fuckers, you can't poison them without risking cats and dogs.

The best way is a pellet gun or wrist rocket (but then you might miss and hurt someone)

I think the blowguns are inefficient for the job, but it must be somewhat satisfying to the shooter to see these flying rats with a dart sticking out of there heads. I can't say that I blame him.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 12:57 PM

My first instinct was to blame Brendan "Urban Hunt" Kiley.

Posted by Hernandez | April 7, 2008 1:03 PM

I didn't post comments #8 and #11. I'm a misanthrope, and I particularly hate women. But I have nothing against animals.

Please delete #8 and #11.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 1:05 PM

I saw one with a yellow needle. I am pretty sure that they are just punks. Pierced pigeon punks.

Posted by josh | April 7, 2008 1:10 PM

#13 is a sock puppet. Please delete the post.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 1:13 PM

In addition, Kesh, why can't you use your real name instead of using mine?

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 1:15 PM

secure logins NOW!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 7, 2008 1:24 PM


As I've said before, I have never sock puppeted you. Take your sniveling, prissy, hypocritical bitchiness and go fuck yourself. After all, no one else is going to do it.

By the way, I said Fnarf could call me kesh. I did not give leave for you to do so. Make a note of it.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 7, 2008 1:33 PM

Whatever Kesh,

I quick IP check will determine that one.

Oh, and how about posting something that doesn't have to do with me? Can't do it?

I know, it's hard. I have become your Jesus.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 1:36 PM

Let it go, Kesh. Please.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 1:40 PM

I say go at the source of the problem and blow darts at the people who feed pigeons.

Posted by Sirkowski | April 7, 2008 2:00 PM

I call bullshit until some photos pop up.

Winged Rats aren't that dumb.

Posted by bobcat | April 7, 2008 2:01 PM

eh, i have * photos blocked with firefox but checked out that crappy one with IE. Still doesn't look like proof. Maybe they'll get aggressive like this guy:

Posted by bobcat | April 7, 2008 2:05 PM

That's funny, I actually thought #13 was keshmeshi.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 7, 2008 2:05 PM


Thats because it is.

She has pulled this all weekend. She thinks she is original, funny, or somehow "getting" me.

yet another twenty something with an inferiority complex about her weight (her words, not mine).

Being a fat activist, while hating being fat requires so much brain power just to get through the day, she is doing permanent damage to herself.

Kesh, either lose the weight, or learn to love yourself the way you are. Or get into chubby porn. Despite being a lesbian, there are plenty of jobs for young impressionable fat girls to make a living in strait porn.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 2:13 PM

#18, when you become this emotionally invested in your response, the troll has already won. Give it a rest, already, you've been writing these silly comments for nearly a week now.

Posted by w7ngman | April 7, 2008 2:23 PM


Four days is nearly a week? Interesting.

And, believe it or not, I'm not emotionally invested. It is possible to spew vitriol without actually believing in it. See #25 for a clear cut example.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 7, 2008 2:42 PM

Keshmesh, we're all on your side, but we want it to go away, and you're making it certain that it will stay. Just ignore it. Let it do the worst it can do, with no reaction. It's the only thing that will work. Trust me.

Posted by Fnarf | April 7, 2008 3:09 PM


Fine, I'll try it your way. But the only true troll deterrents I've seen are banning or a piling on from every other commenter. In my experience, nothing else works.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 7, 2008 3:29 PM

Wow Kesh,

Considering I am not a troll, how does acting like a total prick make any sense?

You have not posted one relevant response to anything. You are nothing more than an internet stalker.

Posted by ecce homo | April 7, 2008 5:50 PM

What a horrible, pointless thing to do.

Compared to humans, pigeons are harmless. I mean, who produces more toxic crap than us?

Posted by Irena | April 7, 2008 6:59 PM


Yeah, and they aren't even half as annoying as crows.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 7, 2008 7:31 PM

Why can't we call fat activists "fativists" or "fativistas"?

Anyway, I think dartheaded pigeons are hilarious. It's like every day is halloween.

Posted by Bob | April 7, 2008 8:15 PM

@33, ugh. that's awful. but maybe YOUR head pierced with a darthead would be only somewhat funny ;)

Posted by feom | April 7, 2008 11:03 PM

Crows are my friends. I think they're smarter than we are.

Posted by Fnarf | April 8, 2008 2:57 AM

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