Thank god they decided to make more
Dolly Parton has really been hard at work
But In doing so…she created her biggest enemy…Jolene
Pop a 911, then pop another one
-Lady Gaga on “911” - Chromatica, 2020
Me a pokemon trainer: Alright guys yall can eat up!
My Alakazam in my head: Ma’am may I please sit at the table and have a plate it is truly unnecessary for me to eat from a bowl on the ground and actually-
Me: Oh Alakazam you know pokemon don’t have human rights now tell me the answers to my Calculus homework
So I was told that Human Planet had a segment about pigeons in the Cities episode that I might be interested in and I was honestly so underwhelmed. I haven’t finished the episode so maybe there’s more pigeon stuff but I feel like all I saw was more Birds Of Prey Are The Only Cool And Acceptable Birds and pigeons are Trespassers In Our Urban World Who Shit On Everything And Are Useless On Top Of It. Which isn’t true and I’m so tired of this being framed as some horrible burden that humanity must face. Pigeons are the victims here, not us.
Hate of pigeons didn’t start until the 20th Century. Before that was about 9,900 years of loving them. The rock pigeon was domesticated 10,000 years ago and not only that, we took them freaking everywhere. Pigeons were the first domesticated bird and they were an all-around animal even though they were later bred into more specialised varieties. They were small but had a high feed conversion rate, in other words it didn’t cost a whole lot of money or space to keep and they provided a steady and reliable source of protein as eggs or meat. They home, so you could take them with you and then release them from wherever you were and they’d pretty reliably make their way back. Pigeons are actually among the fastest flyers and they can home over some incredible distances (what fantastic navigators!). They were an incredibly important line of communication for multiple civilisations in human history. You know the first ever Olympics? Pigeons were delivering that news around the Known World at the time. Also, their ability to breed any time of year regardless of temperature or photoperiod? That was us, we did that to them, back when people who couldn’t afford fancier animals could keep a pair or two for meat/eggs.
Rooftop pigeon keeping isn’t new, it’s been around for centuries and is/was important to a whole variety of cultures. Pigeons live with us in cities because we put them there, we made them into city birds. I get that there are problems with bird droppings and there’s implications for too-large flocks. By all means those are things we should look to control, but you don’t need to hate pigeons with every fibre of your being. You don’t need to despise them or brush them off as stupid (they have been intelligence tested extensively as laboratory animals because guess what other setting they’re pretty well-adapted to? LABORATORIES!) because they aren’t stupid. They’re soft intelligent creatures and I don’t have time to list everything I love about pigeons again. You don’t need to aggressively fight them or have a deep desire to kill them at all. It’s so unnecessary, especially if you realise that the majority of reasons pigeons are so ubiquitous is a direct result of human interference.
We haven’t always hated pigeons though, Darwin’s pigeon chapter in The Origin of Species took so much of the spotlight that publishers at the time wanted him to make the book ONLY about pigeons and to hell with the rest because Victorian’s were obsessed with pigeons (as much as I would enjoy a book solely on pigeons, it’s probably best that he didn’t listen). My point is, for millenia, we loved pigeons. We loved them so much we took them everywhere with us and shaped them into a bird very well adapted for living alongside us.
It’s only been very recently that we decided we hated them, that we decided to blame them for ruining our cities. The language we use to describe pigeons is pretty awful. But it wasn’t always, and I wish we remembered that. I wish we would stop blaming them for being what we made them, what they are, and spent more time actually tackling the problems our cities face.
I just have a lot of feelings about how complex and multidimensional hating pigeons actually is
ALL OF THIS
And also pigeon poop was a very valuable fertilizer before we had other options, people would hire guards to stop thieves from stealing their flock’s poop.
Late night, reblogging, so bear with me here…
Thank you for posting much of my thoughts over the past year and a half! I am known by many as “that guy who keeps the raptors”. Yes this is true, I do keep and handle raptors for educational purposes, but what many fail to realize is, I am fascinated with pigeons. My interest with birds began with the obvious, the raptors, corvids, and parrots. Then I discovered pigeons. These wonderful little birds with big attitudes and the incredible ability to thrive among people.
The organization I work with got its first pigeon a little over a year ago. She was a rescue with nowhere else to go. I was quickly drawn to her character and attitude about life. We rarely handled her, but we did spend time with her. She grew attached to our volunteers very quickly because their were no other birds she could socialize with in our facility.
We never intended to train her for educational programs. It was a job reserved for our raptors. It was our pigeon who decided she would be a part of what we were doing. One day, when we entered her enclosure to change water and food, she decided to fly to my hand and perch like our raptors do.
No training, no treats, just the reward of being with us.
What we hadn’t noticed for the couple months prior was her watching us. This brilliant little bird had been watching us every day as we trained and worked with our raptors. Finally she decided she didn’t want to be left out any longer. She made her place on our hands.
This occurred several times before we finally put her on a glove and brought her into the public. Needless to say, she was right at home. She fluffed up and preened the entire evening while people gawked and asked us why we had a pigeon on one glove and a hawk on another.
Since then, we’ve added 5 more rescued pigeons to our growing flock. And our pigeon (Tybalt) has become a mainstay ambassador for our programs. Each of our pigeons are incredibly fun to watch and interact with. Pigeons simply don’t get enough love. They are marvelous creatures incredibly suited to life alongside people both physically and mentally.
Raptors my have been my introduction into birds, but pigeons opened my eyes to a new appreciation for them and the fascinating world of bird cognition.
NOT ONLY are pigeons very amazing, worth our respect, and INTERESTING (did you read any of that stuff above?), but they are beautiful too!
Look how lovely:
Photo by .jocelyn.
They have a complex and fascinating social structure, both within a flock and with other individuals:Photo by Ingrid Taylar
AND THEY ARE JUST SUPER CUTE, HONESTLY:Photo by Musical Photo Man
Not chickens, but I feel compelled to spread this gospel.
hmmm. this is making me rethink my new york pigeon hate
and, AND, haven’t you ever wondered why city pigeons come in a magnificent rainbow of unusual colors?
Most wild animals all look alike within a species, with TINY, RARE individual variations in terms of rare color morphs, unusually big or small animals, different facial markings and other subtleties. But there is no evolutionary benefit to having species where everyone looks slightly different, and in fact, it’s beneficial for species to be similar and consistent, with a distinctive aesthetic. Especially if you’re trying to blend into the environment - a black wolf is all very well, but it looks positively silly in the summer tundra, where its grey/brown/brindley cousins blend in. A white deer has a great aesthetic - and a very short lifespan in the forest. Distinctive Protagonist looks are rare in the wild, simply because natural selection usually comes down heavily on them.
To humans, most wild animals are visually indistinguishable from each other.
As a result, most wild animals are like
“Oh it’s obvious - you can tell the twins apart because Kara has a big nose.”
Wild animals usually have a pretty consistent aesthetic within their species. It’s important to them!
SO WHAT IS GOING ON WITH PIGEONS?
Look, in one small picture you’ve got a red color morph in the center, several melanistic dark morphs, a few solid black birds, a few variations on the wildtype wing pattern, a PIEBALD, a piebald copper color morph…
Like, there are LAYERS UPON LAYERS of pigeon diversity in most flocks you see. Pure white ones with black wingtips. Solid brown ones with pink iridescent patches. Pale pinkish pigeons.
WHY IS THAT? When other wild animals consider “being slightly fluffier than my brother” to be dangerously distinctive in most circumstances?
BECAUSE CITY PIGEONS AREN’T TRULY WILD.
MANY OF THEM (POSSIBLY MOST OR ALL) ARE FERAL MIXES.
THEY WERE ONCE BELOVED PETS, SPECIAL MESSENGERS, EXQUISITE SHOW-WINNERS, AND PRIZED LIVESTOCK.
THEIR PRETTY COLORS WERE DELIBERATELY INTRODUCED BY HUMANS.
AND NOW THEIR HUMANS DON’T LOVE THEM ANY MORE.
See, pigeon fanciers bred (and still breed!) a huge array of pigeons. And the resulting swarms of released/discarded/escaped/phased out “fancy” pigeons stayed around humans. What else were they going to do? They interbred with wildtype pigeons.
Lots of the pigeons you see in public are feral. They’re not wild animals. They’re citizen animals. They’re genetically engineered. And now that’s what “city” pigeons are.
These “wild” horses are all different colors because they’re actually feral. Mustangs in the American West are the descendants of imported European horses - they’re an invasive domestic species that colonized an ecological niche, but they are domestic animals. Their distinctive patterns were deliberately bred by humans. A few generations of running around on the prairie isn’t going to erase that and turn them back into wildtypes. If you catch an adult mustang and train it for a short period, you can ride it and have it do tricks and make it love you. It’s a domestic animal. You can’t really do that with an adult zebra.
No matter how many generations these dogs stay on the street and interbreed with one another, they won’t turn back into wolves. They can’t. They’re deliberately genetically engineered. If you catch one (even after generations of rough living, even as an adult) you can make it stare at your face, care about your body language, and love you.
City pigeons? Well, you don’t have to like them, but they’re in the same boat. They’re tamed animals, bred on purpose, living in a human community. Their very bodies are marked with their former ownership and allegiance; they cannot really return to what they once were; if you caught one, you could make it love you (in a limited pigeon-y way.) They have gone to “the wild,” but not very far from us, and they’d be happy to come back.
So next time you see a flock of city pigeons, spare a moment to note their diversity. The wing patterns. The pied, mottled and brindled. The color types.
All of it was once meant to please you.
I am now on Team Pigeon. Thank you.
Asking the real questions here
I watched a video on youtube that pointed out that the Purge is DURING TAX SEASON so there’s nothing that stops you from filing your taxes while lying about EVERYTHING and then getting a big ol’ tax refund. XD
The positivity pool
Fucking finally, something positive that doesn’t look fucking photoshopped to hell. Real, unedited people, I am loving this
Absolutely disgusting. That bitch is getting cheetos in the pool.
“I don’t own a dog in life, so I was (complaining) like, I’ve gotta work with a dog. What if the dog licks me? Dogs are nasty and disgusting. Within the first five minutes, I’m kissing the dog, I’m holding the dog, the dog was on my chest. I love that dog, and she came to me so easily.”