SF Bay Area Pigeon and Dove Rescue
I swiped the first video from a friend’s Facebook page — a friend connected with Mickacoo, the Bay Area domestic pigeon rescue. If you don’t know about Mickacoo, check out the website to see the beautiful work this organization does for pigeons and doves. Even better, if you have room to adopt, please consider giving a rescued bird a second chance in a loving home.
Mickacoo is an earth angel — an appropriate designation for a group that is often the last chance for these abandoned and injured birds of peace. There are countless doves and pigeons who are now fed, housed and cherished because of the 24/7 work of this small, tireless organization.
Standing Up for Pigeons
I have a soft spot for pigeons — always have. I used to stop kids from kicking them, I debated with friends who loathed these “rats with wings,” and I (admittedly, now abashedly) fed my share of pigeons in Trafalgar Square when I had the good fortune to travel to London.
I talked with pigeon feeders in Hyde Park and came to realize that it was, indeed, a special type of person who could appreciate and revere this much-maligned bird. It wasn’t always so. Pigeons have an esteemed role in human history, as companions, as good luck charms, as messengers in war. If you’re a fighter for the underdog, I suggest the pigeon as a worthy underdog to champion. A bird who deserves our adoration.
Humane Ways to Cohabit With City Pigeons
That’s precisely what the first video is about: people who’ve cared enough for pigeons to effect positive, cultural change on their behalf. There are humane ways for humans to cohabit with urban pigeons. If you’re not familiar with the British group PICAS (Pigeon Control Advisory Service) or the pigeon solutions implemented in Basel, Switzerland you’ll be amazed at the contrast between these compassionate approaches to pigeon issues — versus our own, often twisted methodology for dealing with these birds. As the video suggests, we, as a culture, compromise our own humanity by choosing the often cruel tactics we employ.
A word of warning: This is one of the more tame videos I’ve seen in terms of pigeon-control footage, but there are a few disturbing scenes showing the effects of poison, as well as two short scenes of pigeons being shot.
The second video shows the building of Rotterdam’s first public pigeon loft (they type of loft discussed in the above documentary). The vid’s a little slow — lack of dramatic tension. But you can see it’s a serious operation with a Calder-like design.
I’ve always enjoyed photographing pigeons. You can see my always-expanding gallery of pigeon photos along with links to related pigeon posts from this blog.
More Information on Pigeons, both Feral and Domestic:
- The Rescue Report: Mickacoo stories of rescued pigeons and doves, and profiles of those needing adoptive homes.
- Project Pigeon Watch: Cornell’s pigeon observation program
- Urban Wildlife Society: Promoting appreciation for the animals who share our cities.
- Pigeon Lofts in the Netherlands:: Photos and information on loft solutions developed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.