Pigeons? Yup! It's true that pigeons are gross. They also carry disease and you probably shouldn't touch them (although I did see a kid punch one as his mom halfheartedly asked him to stop) but that can also be said of dogs, cats, kangaroos and other common household pets.
But pigeons! Pigeons are special and they have a long history of co-existing with humans. Most people take them for granted, probably because they’re found in almost every city in the world but these little throwbacks to the prehistoric period should not be taken so lightly.
Pigeons are brilliant little birds.
They also have an astounding sense of direction and fashion sense. Just take a look at the Crested Pigeon below.
Believe it or not, Pigeons have also saved lives!
They tried several forms of communication for help and they all failed, so they used their carrier pigeons. The pigeons were all shot down. All except for one pigeon named Cher Ami, which means “dear friend” in French. Despite being shot and losing its leg; Cher Ami was able to deliver the message that ended up saving the lives of 194 American soldiers trapped behind enemy lines.
Not only was Cher Ami given medals for its bravery (which is adorable) but it also received a prosthetic leg for its bravery (also adorable). It died a year later but you can see the stuffed body of Cher Ami at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
We all know it's human nature to take any good idea and use it to kill people, just look at the new switch blade app on the iPhone 6. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that during WWII the British had trained pigeons to fly into enemy territory with little bombs attached to them. Hitler himself had his own crew of pigeons he used to send information back and forth. The British countered Hitler's pigeon plan by training falcons to attack his pigeons. So during the WWII, there was seriously a mini-war between pigeons and falcons. How's that for a B plot?
Are you listening Disney?
Pigeons were also the original paperboys.
That last bit about vaudeville was a lie. Can you imagine a pigeon playing the piano and juggling?
Some pretty cool people also love pigeons.
I guess I can see why people hate pigeons so much, especially if they have a black car. But I'll always hold a special place in my heart for those little disease ridden rats with wings, flowing gracefully through the air and gently defecating on the world below as it soars freely through the clear sky.
Oh, and screw this guy!