I have lived in New York City now for 11+ years, and I can tell you with 100% conviction that New York City’s pigeons are the absolute worst. I love all animals, except for pigeons. They are completely disgusting, and they dominate the streets of New York City. They wage their assault both on the ground and in the air. I give the benefit of the doubt to all animals and human beings in New York City, as New York City can be a rough place to live, but unlike all other living things in New York City, I’ve personally seen how pigeons lack even the basic sense of hygiene, bathing and drinking from dirty water puddles on the street.
Here are three specific reasons why I passionately hate New York City’s pigeons.
#1) A Pigeon Flew into My Face
Yes, that’s right, and every time I see a pigeon on the sidewalk, I relive that terrifying moment.
I was walking down the sidewalk in New York City about 5 years ago. I was minding my own business, just walking down the street. I remember my head was straight, I was just focused on getting to where I was going.
Then, all of a sudden, I hear a swooshing sound.
I heard the air swoosh back and forth, very quickly. The sound was coming from my left, and it was quickly getting louder. I didn’t know what the sound was, and the moment I was going to turn my head to figure out where the noise was coming from, was when the pigeon nearly collided with my face. The beak of the pigeon was just a millimeter in front of the tip of my nose. As the pigeon flew past me, its wing slapped my left cheek.
Like a high-speed missile, its beak could have stabbed me in my face. That pigeon could have even taken out my left eye. Luckily, it didn’t.
But still as of today, that moment was unforgettable. I can still feel today that exact place where that disgusting pigeon slapped my cheek, and I can still relive seeing and hearing that pigeon fly past my face.
#2) A Family of Pigeons Hatched Babies on My Balcony, then a Gang of Pigeons Proceeded to Completely Cover my Balcony with Pigeon Poop
Last Spring, after a long Winter, I noticed that every morning a pigeon would come to my balcony. It happened every day for about a month. Every morning I would see the pigeon sitting on the railing of my balcony. I didn’t know why the pigeon started coming to my balcony every day, and thought for some reason the pigeon wanted to be my friend. Maybe this pigeon was sent to me to atone for all the sins of his fellow brethren pigeons.
Here’s that pigeon on the railing of my balcony.
Then, a few weeks later, I was doing some Spring cleaning, and I went outside to clean my balcony. As I was cleaning, I noticed something under the folding chairs that I had placed along the wall of the balcony.
I looked down, and saw a tiny nest in between the folding chairs. There were two baby pigeons that were already hatched and living in the nest. It was very cute, and there were many small wooden twigs that the pigeons used to create the nest.
To me this was a sign, maybe the pigeons were showing me a different side. Maybe I was wrong about everything I ever thought of pigeons.
Maybe the streets of New York City forced the pigeons to be dirty, and maybe there’s nothing but garbage for them to eat. Maybe the pigeon that flew into my face did it because it had flight or radar problems.
For these next few weeks, my outlook on pigeons totally changed. There was a small family of pigeons on my balcony, and I felt honored they made my balcony their home. I was proud to make them feel safe and comfortable, and I didn’t go outside my balcony to give them peace.
I cherished these few weeks with the pigeons, as I felt it was only a matter of time before the baby pigeons would grow up, fly away, and this family of pigeons would disappear.
Oh how wrong I was.
After a couple months, I noticed the pigeons weren’t going away, and actually more and more pigeons came. At one point I counted 15 different pigeons on my balcony at the same time!
I was bamboozled, and these pigeons completely hijacked my balcony. I had provided the original pigeons freedom to temporarily use my balcony, and I didn’t go outside because I didn’t want to disturb the young family of pigeons. But, at this point, the pigeons flipped the script on me and they started to permanently invite all their pigeon friends.
To give insult to injury, the pigeons completely covered my beautiful, clean balcony with pigeon poop. My entire white concrete balcony was now black with poop and soot, and it even attracted insects and flies. You would think all animals have the natural instinct of knowing “not to sh*t where you sleep or eat”, pigeons do not have this instinct.
I also loved to have the window of my balcony open, as my balcony overlooks the East River and I would get fresh air into my apartment. But now, I could not even open my window because the smell was disgusting and I was afraid that nasty flies would get inside my apartment.
At this point, there was no way I could go outside and enjoy my balcony, and didn’t know what to do. There was a gang of pigeons on my balcony, and they were there 24-7.
I knew the only way to get rid of the pigeons was to go out and scare them all off, wiping them out, and then bleaching all their filth away. For weeks, I was contemplating when this D-Day would be.
Then one day, one of the pigeons started pecking its beak at the glass of my window. This pigeon was actually trying to get inside my apartment. I said this is it, it’s one thing for the pigeons to completely take over my balcony, but now it’s another thing that the pigeons are now trying to break their way inside my apartment.
I said this is it, today is D-Day. The pigeons forced me to do it, and there was no other choice.
I wrapped my body and shoes with plastic garbage bags, and went outside and yelled at all the pigeons to go away. I then had to get on my hands and knees and had to clean up their poop and soot. It took about an hour, and then I washed my balcony with water and bleach. I threw away the folding chairs the original pigeons created the nest under, as the chairs were now covered with filth.
After lots of bleach and scrubbing water, the balcony was back to being clean again. For about two weeks after this, one of the pigeons continued to come back to the balcony every day. I watched it looking for the others to come back, but they never came. Eventually after a couple weeks, this pigeon never came back, and I haven’t seen a pigeon back on my balcony since then.
#3) Pigeons Eat Garbage
When I Google “what do pigeons eat”, the first search result states “pigeons eat a variety of grains, seeds, greens, berries, fruits, and will occasionally eat insects, snails and earthworms in the wild.”
This description sounds like a wonderful fairy-tail. It sounds like something conceived from an elementary school textbook. I’ve never personally seen a pigeon in New York City eat any of these things. I wonder what the textbooks in New York City state about pigeons, and what kids who live in New York City actually think.
Here’s are some of the things I have personally witnessed pigeons eating off the streets in New York City:
- Chunks of vomit
- Soggy pieces of pizza
- Cigarette butts
- Food wrappers
- Dirty tissue paper
If it were up to me, I would change the description in every textbook to read that pigeons eat “virtually whatever is on the streets of New York City”. You would think all animals have biological instincts for what they eat and put in their bodies, pigeons do not.
In conclusion, I love everything about New York City, except for the pigeons. My experiences with pigeons have made me disgusted by them. It’s not New York City that makes them disgusting, they are just disgusting through their natural instincts.
Many New Yorkers claim that pigeons are flying rats, but I’ve seen many rats in New York City, and at least rats don’t do their dirty business in plain view. Rats might be disgusting as well, but they at least have the decency to do it behind closed doors. Pigeons, on the other hand, do their dirty work in plain sight.
Please forward and share this with your pigeon story, I’m sure you also have one.
Are You a Rat or a Pigeon? – JON HARARI