Monday, February 25, 2013

Bird Watching

This morning on the way to work , I saw on the sidewalk, a pigeon frantically hopping around. Next to him was a dead pigeon. The alive pigeon looked so scared. He kept hopping all around the dead one and then throwing his head around –almost to appear like he was yelling at passerby to DO SOMETHING. HELP.

It was one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know if pigeons feel grief. But this bird was obviously terrified and devastated. And completely helpless. And it seemed to want help. Or maybe just recognition for its dead friend.

I began to wonder if maybe the dead pigeon wasn’t dead, but just terribly hurt. What could the other bird do in that situation? He was helpless. Birds can’t doctor. They can’t administer medicine. He could only watch as his friend lie there in pain.

It was awful.

And it’s filled me with great sadness this morning.

And yes, I know there are outrageous monstrosities happening in the world every hour of every single day. But that doesn’t make this any less sad. Sadness isn’t comparable. Sadness is just felt. And seeing those poor birds this morning just gutted me.


Tucked into the beams that support the skyways near my office are nests where the pigeons sleep. They also lay their eggs there. It’s the perfect spot. Completely covered from wind and weather. As I walk to lunch, I can see them in there, sleeping or fixing up their surroundings. Then a little while later the eggs appear, completely helpless while mom is away finding more items for the home or gathering food. Then one day, someone had put up spikes in front of the entrances to all of these nesting areas. I don’t know what kind of damage the city believes these birds were doing. They can still sit on the ledge of the skyway and lay waste everywhere. Preventing them from entering their homes is not going to keep the area any cleaner.

The worst part is that they couldn’t get to those eggs. Imagine the devestation of those mothers watching some human carelessly board up your home with no regard for your soon to be children and there is nothing you could do about it. Eggs were left cracked and rotting.

Somehow, some of the birds still manage to get through the spikes and some eggs did hatch and now there are little baby pigeons nestled away. I worry about them to the point that I can’t even look anymore because I’m afraid of what other steps the city may have taken to keep these birds from their homes.


Pigeons are considered the rats of the sky. I know they are unclean. I know they don’t care about me. But, if you watch them close enough, you can see the little lives they’ve built. Everyone’s just trying to get by and keep watch over the one’s they love.  


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