The Pigeon Police

Posted on November 28, 2007 

The Pigeon Police

Pity the New York City pigeon. He finds a place where natural predators are few, and where bread crumbs—note that stooped woman clutching a plastic bag—are bountiful, and yet his life expectancy is just three to four years, compared with fifteen for his cousins in captivity. So life is short: he stuffs himself before he mistakes an office window for open sky. Or maybe he has the misfortune of needing to relieve himself—perhaps more than once—near a subway stop in the district of the Honorable Simcha Felder, councilman from Brooklyn. Felder steps in the guano—he calls it a “puddle” of excrement—and becomes enraged, commissioning a report from his staff: “Curbing the Pigeon Conundrum.” Soon after, Christine Quinn, the City Council Speaker, refers to pigeons as “flying rats.” Now there’s talk of implementing the report’s Recommendation No. 5: “Create Pigeon Czar.” The czar’s responsibilities would include reducing the food supply, promoting birth control (via oral contraceptives disguised as crumbs), and supervising a pilot program called “dovecoting,” which involves confiscating pigeon eggs and replacing them with decoys.

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