Beautiful. Misunderstood. Under-appreciated. Brave. Smart. Abused. Tenacious. Loyal. Familial. Loving. Funny. Quick. Curious. Aerobatic. These are all terms I’ve come to identify with “pigeon.”
The black backdrop for this shot is a perfectly urban one for an urban bird: a black car parked in a San Francisco lot. She took off low to join her flock across the way, and the car became a studio cyc.
My love of pigeons spans a lifetime, from feeding pigeons in city squares as a kid in Europe, to driving injured and baby pigeons between wildlife hospitals, to living for a time with two gentle and sweet rescued racing pigeons, which, in turn, led me to volunteer with Palomacy (www.pigeonrescue.org) an amazing pigeon and dove rescue group.
Pigeons also have an esteemed role in human history, as companions, as messengers in war. They’re a bird worthy of much more respect than they get, for their tenacious ability to live among us and help us, even as they come out battered and entangled for all of our hazards.
And still, after everything we put in their way, they remain this … angelic on the wing, more regal than we allow, perched on our skyscrapers with the agility and grace handed down by their cliff-dwelling family and ancestors.