something
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Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:44 am

There used to be a segment on the Ricky Gervais show, for those familiar, called ''Do We Need 'em?'' where Ricky, Steve and Karl discussed whether or not certain (annoying) animals should go, or if they're crucial to the eco system. And I've been wondering the same about pigeons.

I hate pigeons incredibly much. They look disgustingly hideous and the noises they make are essentially nature's invitation to kill them. And I would most happily volunteer.

However, there's a chance pigeons play their role in our eco system. I couldn't find a reliable answer to that question online, but since I live in a rather urban area, have serious doubts their existence is of any use.

On another note, what is the international law on killing wildlife? A German lawyer friend of mine said killing any non-endangered animal falls under criminal property damage; wildlife has no owner and is therefore not punishable. On a side note for German pet owners and haters alike, a killed dog incurs a €250 fine on average, a cat goes for €120. Plus, the cost of replacement obviously.

But how about pigeons? Do we need 'em?
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
flymia
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:15 am

Quoting something (Thread starter):
On a side note for German pet owners and haters alike, a killed dog incurs a €250 fine on average, a cat goes for €120. Plus, the cost of replacement obviously.

In the US (well I guess it varies by state) killing someones pet like a dog or cat can land you in jail for over a year. Which IMO it should.

Quoting something (Thread starter):
But how about pigeons? Do we need 'em?

That is a great question! In urban areas I feel like they just eat what they find on the street. I am sure they eat some things in trees or something. But I am not sure what they can help an eco-system for. They had to have had some reason to be here in the first place.
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Geezer
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:41 am

Something;
Here's a "pigeon story" you will just love...............

Back in the late 60's, I drove tank trucks for Texaco for about 7 yrs; the bulk terminal I worked out of had many big storage tanks, most of which were about 40 feet high, and some had "dome" tops o them. And we had lots of pigeons ! One Sunday ( when all the "suits" were not there ), a friend of mine brought his 22 cal. rifle to work with him, and he said, "lets go out and shoot some pigeons"; we were standing on this dike that surrounds each tank, and there maybe 24 or 30 pigeons on the dome roof of this tank, He gave me the rifle, and says, "here, you go first"; the gun had a small scope on it, and I was in the process of centering up the cross hairs on this one pigeon which was walking slowly right to left, and as he's just about "center up", i notice another one, about 2 ft farther back, and walking left to right; so I'm making a mental calculation, " wow, I think both of these buggers are going to "center up" at the same time"; half a second later, I have TWO birds "centered up", I squeezed off ONE round, and just like that, TWO pigeons come rolling down and off the roof !

That was maybe 52 years ago, and so far I have never succeeded in doing it again.


Texaco used to have this "anti-pigeon" paint they painted on tank roofs and cat walks...........it was supposed to burn their feet and discourage them from "hanging around", but I don't think it was all that effective, or at least not for any great length of time


We don't have much of a pigeon problem where I live, because it's quite "rural"; I go through about 5 or 6 bushels of shelled corn, and about 250 lbs of sunflower seeds every winter feeding all the red headed wood peckers, and the red birds in my back yard, and the worst problem I have with "unwanted" birds, is the damned starlings; ( which I might add, were not even native to the U.S. until some "stupid schmuck" brought a couple pairs back to this country from England about 75 years ago. ( so if you ever seem to have less starlings than usual, it's because they're all over here ! )

Two winters ago, I was sitting by the window taking some pics of the birds out back, and a half dozen starlings came by; after trying to scare them off for a while, ( with minimal success ), I thought, ( I'll fix your..........'s; ) so I spent half the day rigging up an extension cord from the garage to the back yard, then I took some heavy #12 cable, snipped the insulation off one end about 3 inches, and fastened it on the bird feeder, then had the other end come up to the back window, where I attached it to a spring loaded push button on & off switch, then back to the extension cord.

I had to be very careful not to "zap" any of my red birds, but it wasn't a problem, as they get out of the starlings way. So I sit down and waited for a starling to get on the bare wires, then pushed the button ! "ZAP"! Talk about some "surprised" starlings ! It "solved the problem" for the rest of the day, but it was too "labor intensive" to be of much practical benefit. Incidentally, birds sit on bare power lines all the time, with no ill effect, because they aren't grounded;
it was a whole different story with my little "starling zapper" because the hot wire and the neutral wire were only about 6mm's apart, so when they wrapped there little toes around that thing, they got a nice 140 volt "surprise" !


Charley
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Superfly
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:07 am

Pigeons don't bother me.
What bothers me the most are snakes, mosquitoes and rats; in that order.
However I know they serve a purpose in our eco system. What purpose they serve is beyond me but as long as I don' see them than I'm ok.
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Mortyman
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:16 am

I find Seagulls to be far more annoying ...
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:21 am

Pigeon tastes wonderful... at least proper pigeon does, I am not so sure about the urban flying rat type of pigeon, but it may be worth looking into.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:21 am

http://youtu.be/jEjUAnPc2VA

They can cause a nuclear war too  
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Zkpilot
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:26 am

Quoting something (Thread starter):


However, there's a chance pigeons play their role in our eco system. I couldn't find a reliable answer to that question online, but since I live in a rather urban area, have serious doubts their existence is of any use.

Pigeons were never as big a part of the ecosystem as they are now. The reason why they are so populous now is because of humans. Pigeons were previously bred for the purpose of delivering messages (carrier pigeons) after WWI their use was replaced by other forms of communication and so they were released into the wild by humans. Subsequently they returned to their "home" in urban areas and bred like rabbits with the vast availability of food on the ground.

So to answer your question, no we do not need pigeons (at least in urban areas) and I personally think government/councils should make more of an effort to eradicate them as they are most definitely a pest (crap on everything, are a health hazard, make noise nuisance).
Apparently they love aspirin....  
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oldeuropean
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:37 am

Does mother earth need humans?  
Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
 
Asturias
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:11 pm

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 8):
Does mother earth need humans?  

Great, just when I have my super-jumbo industrial sized rolleyes emoticon at the shop! Extra points for using "mother" earth, instead of just "earth". You'll go far kid.

http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1999/ROLLEYES.GIF

... anyway, mosquitos, there are too many of them for sure. Pigeons are just a question of city policy, I mean they *can* be put in check, but mosquitos are the worst. Snakes are pretty bad too, but I don't see many of them around my vicinity.

asturias
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something
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:42 pm

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 8):
Does mother earth need humans?

Not more or less than it needs pigeons. The earth doesn't need anything. No life, no atmosphere, oxygen, no sunlight. The earth is just one out of countless planets in the universe.

If I understand you right, your problem is with the human attitude of submitting nature to itself. But this is a whole other debate. I am actually a very avid environmentalist. Obviously, the global eco systems would be much more intact if it weren't for humans, but we're here and all we can aim to do is to live in as much of a balance with nature and try to bring us as humans in line with our surroundings. But that has nothing to do with my question.

My question is of what use pigeons are in urban environments and if they even belong there in the first place. From what I could gather, pigeons eat seeds, digest them, and spread them over large areas through their excrements. On the other end of the food chain snakes and certain other avian species eat them. But as there is neither the need for pigeons to spread plant seeds over cities and residential neighborhoods, especially since most of what they eat aren't seeds anyway and that more tolerable bird species do the same job as well, nor do they have any real natural enemies left whose life depends on them, I question their purpose in ''our'' eco system. I'm not even sure they're indigenous to the Northern European clime. But maybe I am overlooking something.. and that is what I am asking.

Do pigeons play any vital role in our natural eco system, or would they in an intact eco system not even exist in these vast numbers due to a scarcity of ressources and natural enemies? Or would they maybe not even exist at all because they aren't indigenous?

I would not get rid of them if they were of use, regardless of my opinion about them. But if they useless or even detrimental, then good riddance!
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:51 pm

Wood pigeons annoy me with their call. However they taste rather nice in a game pie, so I will forgive them.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 2):
That was maybe 52 years ago, and so far I have never succeeded in doing it again.

Could a stray bullet in a fuel farm not have caused fireworks? That would have got all the pigeons there in one go  


Dan  
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soon7x7
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:51 pm

Quoting something (Thread starter):
or if they're crucial to the eco system. And I've been wondering the same about pigeons.

Idea!...round up the pidgeons and reposition them into the neighborhoods in London that now have posted signs..."Sharia Law Enforced Neighborhood".
 
Geezer
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:44 am

[quote=PlymSpotter,reply=11]Could a stray bullet in a fuel farm not have caused fireworks? That would have got all the pigeons there in one go

Dan;

Not to worry ! The whole place was shut down 20 or so years ago, and Texaco no longer markets their products in Ohio.

Even when I worked there, there was nothing in the whole place that would even have been dented by a 22 cal. bullet. The storage tanks were quite thick at the bottoms, and even about 10 to 12 mm thick near the tops.

While I was still working there, we had a huge fire that completely burned down the truck loading rack. It was caused by a ground cable being broken.

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
AR385
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:14 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 7):
Pigeons were never as big a part of the ecosystem as they are now. The reason why they are so populous now is because of humans. Pigeons were previously bred for the purpose of delivering messages (carrier pigeons) after WWI their use was replaced by other forms of communication and so they were released into the wild by humans. Subsequently they returned to their "home" in urban areas and bred like rabbits with the vast availability of food on the ground.
Quoting something (Reply 10):
My question is of what use pigeons are in urban environments and if they even belong there in the first place.

ZK pilot, just to complement your excellent post and contribute to an answer for something, no, pigeons don´t have much use in urban environments. The reason they live there is:

1. What ZKpilot describes

2. Pigeons descend from a common ancestor that made its nests in naturally tall, cathedral-like structures. Thus, as the urban environment has grown, pigeons have "discovered" that tall buildings or other tall urban structures are identical to what their very simple BUT genetically programmed little brain recognizes as their ideal breeding place. So, they installed themselves in cities and have substituted that environment for where they naturally should be.

I wouldn´t care much about them, if it not for all the crap they spread, which is very damaging to the urban environment. As for disease, I´m not sure they spread anything.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 2):
Here's a "pigeon story" you will just love...............

A similar story but with swallows....

We had a nice Colonial style house in Cuernavaca, Mexico, when I was growing up. One year, suddenly, in the Spring there appeared a couple of swallows´ nests. We all thought it was very cute.

The next Spring we had over 30 nests. We did not think it was that cute anymore.

Then over the next two Springs, the house must have become THE place for the swallows as when my father finally had it with the birds we had counted over 160 nests in the house. I kidd you not.

The problem was that we felt inundated in bird sh** and it was not nice, nor cute anymore. So dad got us both me and my brother a couple of air rifles, over the objections of my mother. We dealt with the problem in one day.

The next Spring we did not let a single swallow set up a nest.
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:30 am

I don't mind pigeons and could care less what they offer or not. Ants, on the other hand, are pests from hell and should be exterminated PRONTO (namely, fire ants and all kinds of ant that sting).
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
mham001
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:31 am

Last week I saw a falcon get the local pigeons in a tizzy when it swooped in to snatch one off my neighbors house, so yes, in this urban environment, they are serving as tasty meals for something.
 
Geezer
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:33 am

[quote=Superfly,reply=3]What bothers me the most are snakes, mosquitoes and rats; in that order.

[quote=Superfly,reply=3]However I know they serve a purpose in our eco system. What purpose they serve is beyond me but as long as I don' see them than I'm ok.


Superfly................

Mosquitoes are a huge menace to mankind, due to the various diseases they are responsible for causing; It is highly doubtful that we will ever be able to eradicate them though.

Rats are another huge problem, but, were it not for snakes, many areas in the world would simply be "up to their asses in rats"!

All 3,000 or so species of snakes have several things in common; all are predators; with the exception of the marine species, ( which eat fish and marine invertebrates ), most species of snakes prey on small warm blooded mammals; ( such as rats and mice ) there are some species that prey on birds, a few which eat mainly eggs of certain small mammals, a few more that are mainly insectivores, but none are herbivores, ( as some lizards are. ) A few snakes eat mainly.........other snakes! ( the king cobra is almost exclusively a "snake eater" ), and the various species of king snake in the U.S. will eat a mouse, a rat, or a rattlesnake, makes no difference; which in my view, makes them by far, the best, most interesting species there is to keep as a "creature of interest"; ( I don't regard any snake as a "pet" )

The only places where venomous species of snakes cause considerable loss of life to humans is in the warm climate, third world countries where people are very poor, live "on the ground", and where sanitation practices are very poor.
The best example of this is rural India; the general lack of sanitation is responsible for a huge rat population; the cobras and other venomous snakes are simply attracted to the rats, and as nearly everyone in these regions goes barefoot, many people are bitten each year, and many die, again, primarily from lack of adequate medical care, ( and a general lack regard for the potential danger from venomous snakes. )

By far the best protection from being bitten by a venomous snake is to have as much knowledge as possible about the species of snakes one is apt to encounter in the region you live in, and their habits.

About 98% of all venomous snake bites could be avoided, simply by understanding a bit about snakes and their habits.

The sad thing that really "irks" me, is the numerous shows on Discovery channel, etc. about venomous snakes; they are all filmed by very knowledgeable people, but the problem is, these people are in the "entertainment business", and NOT the "education" business. They are all so "confident" in their ability to grab black mambas by the tail, while "controlling" it's body on a snake hook, ( plus the more "chances they take", the more they get for their film........so we end up with an audience of "wannabees" watching this nonsense, and many of them end up "trying this at home", and quite a few end up being bitten by some extremely dangerous species.

The whole area of southeast Asia is NOT a good place to A. go barefoot while hiking in high grass, jungle, etc B. it's also NOT a good idea to handle ANY snake, unless you have a thorough knowledge of the general reptile fauna of the area.

Our friends in Australia have a "problem" that is unique to the whole world, regarding snakes; it's the only country ( or continent ), where the venomous species of snakes far outnumber the non-venomous species. And among these, are about 3 or 4 of the most dangerous species of snakes there are. So if you happen to be in Australia, DO NOT attempt to pick up a 1. Australian brown snake 2. Tiger snake 3. Taipan 4. or a funnel web spider; all can seriously "ruin your day" quite quickly!
( To the best of my knowledge, Australia doesn't have any "venomous pigeons" )

So keep your shoes on when out in the "weeds" Superfly !

Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
PanHAM
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:34 pm

Pigeons are flying rats and they have to be dealt with accordingly.

In pedestrian zones it is a popular game for kids from 4 to 80 to kick pigeons when they come too close to your feet. A hit is usually applauded by bystanders.

The advanced use cars since pigoens have a rather slow reaction.

Not only people from the Middle East enjoy falcons. Some falcons strategically placed on chruch towers in city centres will lower the population of pigeons dramatically.

Falcons should not be used where another popular weapon against pigeons is used, rat poison. The Falcons are simply too valuable.

Greens and other "Gutmenschen" who take a warm shower in the morning, not to forget the shower cap, prefer to substitute pigoen eggs with porcellaine eggs. This leads not only to frustration with the pigeons but gives shower caps a whole different purpose as well.
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Quokka
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:38 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):
due to the various diseases they are responsible for causing

Does the mosquito cause diseases or do they simply transmit them? I am thinking along the lines of malaria and Ross River virus where the mosquito is the agent for carrying the disease from an infected person and injecting it when it bites another person.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):
a few which eat mainly eggs of certain small mammals

Would you be thinking of the monotremes: Ornithorhynchus anatinus and Tachyglossus aculeatus? Living in Western Australia I am less familiar with the life-cycle of the former but young of the latter more often fall prey to species of Varanus than they do to snakes.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):
To the best of my knowledge, Australia doesn't have any "venomous pigeons"

No, just vexatious ones  All joking aside, Australia has three introduced species, the most widespread of which is Columbia livia. Two others are regular visitors to my garden, the more colourful and graceful Streptopelia senegalensis and S. chinensis. There are 22 endemic species of which my favourite is the spinifex pigeon, Geophaps plumifera. The crested pigeon, Ocyphaps lophotes, has the irritating but slightly amusing habit of flying immediately in front of the car along roads in the Wheatbelt but at least they are not as dangerous as an emu running along the road.

[Edited 2011-08-08 06:41:42]
 
Asturias
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:50 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 19):
Does the mosquito cause diseases or do they simply transmit them?

It just transmits them, but in some persons it can cause rather concerning allergic reactions.

asturias
Tonight we fly
 
baroque
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:55 pm

Quoting something (Thread starter):
But how about pigeons? Do we need 'em?

Fly Merpati
http://www.merpati.co.id/
Where do you want to go?

The big one (with claws) is the Garuda and the little one is a merpati - pigeon.
 
Quokka
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:03 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 20):
It just transmits them, but in some persons it can cause rather concerning allergic reactions.

This is what I thought. It is a shame that due to our past understanding of how disease is transmitted, some of the previous efforts at eliminating the carrier could not have been devoted to finding a practical way of eliminating the viruses themselves. There is growing evidence that some of the prophylactic measures we have are becoming less effective. This is not to dismiss the tremendous saving of lives that have occurred through mosquito eradication schemes, but if our current methods of limiting the risk become less effective we will have serious problems in future.
 
racko
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:30 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
In pedestrian zones it is a popular game for kids from 4 to 80 to kick pigeons when they come too close to your feet. A hit is usually applauded by bystanders.

In your fantasy world maybe. In reality, thankfully, people will call the cops when they see someone doing that.

And, quite frankly, anybody who enjoys hurting animals just for the fun of it is simply a psychopath. A very common trait in serial murderers or rapists.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:06 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 23):
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
In pedestrian zones it is a popular game for kids from 4 to 80 to kick pigeons when they come too close to your feet. A hit is usually applauded by bystanders.

In your fantasy world maybe.

Bingo. It is clearly a fantasy world. I have yet to see somebody hurting an animal and getting applause for doing so.
I support the right to arm bears
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:55 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
In pedestrian zones it is a popular game for kids from 4 to 80 to kick pigeons when they come too close to your feet. A hit is usually applauded by bystanders.

That is just cruel and to applaud it is even worse. Anyone willing to harm animals like that will have no problem treating a person like that as well. It's one thing to torture/kill to get rid of a pest, but it's another thing to do so just for pleasure.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
PanHAM
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:12 pm

Quoting racko (Reply 23):
In your fantasy world maybe
Quoting NoUFO (Reply 24):
Bingo. It is clearly a fantasy world
Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 25):
That is just cruel and to applaud it is even worse.

Now, only some rambo from the USA is missing who wants to put me in jail for 10 years.

No, it's not my phantasie world, it is just a bit of satire. Sorry you did not understand it, not my fault.
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baroque
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:22 pm

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 24):
Quoting racko (Reply 23):
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 18):
In pedestrian zones it is a popular game for kids from 4 to 80 to kick pigeons when they come too close to your feet. A hit is usually applauded by bystanders.

In your fantasy world maybe.

Bingo. It is clearly a fantasy world. I have yet to see somebody hurting an animal and getting applause for doing so.

About 30 to 40 years ago, but for quite a long time, on weekends down near the local lighthouse, you would see folk - mostly S European migrants - fishing for seagulls. The first you realised what was happening was when a seagull started trying to fly and crashing down to be wound in and clonked on the head. Indeed it was illegal, but it took a few years for the police to clear it up. Hate to think what they tasted like. Chickens of the ocean, I rather doubt it.

Now the little buggers land on the car to search for more fish and chips and release the used fish and chips on the paintwork. Well they are not so little buggers either.
 
comorin
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:30 pm

OP - We need pigeons:

There is an old woman who feeds pigeons in front of my apartment building with a huge bag of bread crumbs, and flings the stuff all over the place. If we did not have pigeons then the place would be full of breadcrumbs and rats would come out and infest the place.

Seriously, it is a ticketable offense in NYC to feed pigeons.
 
baroque
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:41 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 28):
There is an old woman who feeds pigeons in front of my apartment building with a huge bag of bread crumbs, and flings the stuff all over the place. If we did not have pigeons then the place would be full of breadcrumbs and rats would come out and infest the place.

Very true, we used to feed a flock of sulphur crested cockatoos (SCCs) that used to land on my office roof just outside the kitchen window. And in no time at all, we had a bigger flock of rats. SCCs are strange beasts, they have a couple in each flock that they bully by pecking them to the point where their feathers are a pale grey rather than white.
 
comorin
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:03 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
Very true, we used to feed a flock of sulphur crested cockatoos (SCCs) that used to land on my office roof just outside the kitchen window. And in no time at all, we had a bigger flock of rats. SCCs are strange beasts, they have a couple in each flock that they bully by pecking them to the point where their feathers are a pale grey rather than white.

Those must be alpha SCCs! Well, that happens in human society too - now I know where the word 'pecking order' came from  
 
Quokka
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:47 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 29):
SCCs are strange beasts, they have a couple in each flock that they bully by pecking them to the point where their feathers are a pale grey rather than white.

All too common really. Happens in the chook pen and in the average office, but we tend to have laws against harassment in th workplace now. My own feathers have turned a bit grey, but I am more of a weero (Nymphicus hollandicus) or is that weirdo?
 
iakobos
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:27 pm

I'll volunteer to play the pigeon's advocate.

My client is the oldest domesticated bird on the planet. His history with humans dates back at least 5,000 years.
He was extensively used to carry messages, including the results of Olympics' events in antiquity.
His ancestors even participated as contestants in the 1900 Olympics.

He played an important role in WW1 as courier and was also rather widely used in WW2 (resistance, operation Market Garden, invasion of Normandy, etc...)
Several of those birds were decorated, one was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and 32, no less, received the Dickin Medal (the animals' Victoria Cross) for gallantry and bravery in saving human lives.

Mr Reuter (later Reuter's News Agency) started as a news and stocks service with pigeons.
Nathan Rothschild made a fortune because of a pigeon (first knowledge of Waterloo > stock markets)

Humans still do not know how my client is able to home straight for his loft at distances of up to 2,000km.
I am one of the very few living creatures that passes the mirror test.

My client cannot be hacked, the transmission is secure and in some cases its speed is comparable or even better than an ADSL transmission. (true, tested against Telkom South Africa in a download from provider vs memory stick carried by pigeon)
As late at this decade, pigeons were still used as emergency communication means in some parts of India.
The first regular airmail service started in 1896 in New Zealand, with pigeons, which led also to the introduction of the first airmail post stamp.

My client's meat is a delicacy, his "droppings" are among the best natural fertilizers, if not the best.

I rest my case your Honor.
 
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Zkpilot
Posts: 3754
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:04 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 14):
As for disease, I´m not sure they spread anything.

I believe Salmonella is one in particular but there are many more I'm sure. Not generally a problem to humans, but pet dogs and cats etc I guess perhaps kids too come into contact with their droppings. They also crap on outdoor tables (or indoor ones in big spaces like trainstations).
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:19 am

Quoting comorin (Reply 30):
Those must be alpha SCCs! Well, that happens in human society too - now I know where the word 'pecking order' came from

I thought they were "just" a bit sick, until I realised why that was so.

Quoting Quokka (Reply 31):
My own feathers have turned a bit grey,

You are telling me that Quokkas rather than flying cockatiels have shades of grey?
 
baroque
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:19 am

Quoting iakobos (Reply 32):
I rest my case your Honor.

Your client is to be released and the time of his return to his loft registered with the court. But if he poops on my wig just one more time, I will 'ave im.
 
something
Topic Author
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:04 am

I have found the point of my greatest mental acuity to be at night between 2.30-8.30am without having eaten anything in a 12 hours period before that. So this is when I try to get most of my work done. And the night is just beautiful. A cool breeze is flowing through the window, there are no people, no steps, no talk, no foot steps, no cars, no airplanes, trains or other sources of unpleasant noise pollution. But every single day, this beautiful moment of tranquility is interrupted around 6.30am by the annoyingly disgusting wood pigeon call. You can close the window, put in ear plugs.. you can still hear it.

And they serve no purpose here where I live. There seem to be a few people who breed them as a hobby. Maybe I'll have to have a talk with them. Or have Mr Wong from the Golden Palace pay them a visit.
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
PanHAM
Posts: 8649
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:06 am

The Swiss army has them on the inventory as (a rough translation)

"Self reproducing messenger systems on biological basis"
powered by Eierlikör
 
something
Topic Author
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:30 am

I liked the ''every hit is met by applause'' mental image much better lol
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:39 am

Me too, but there seem to be not too many kids on the forum here. I thought about what else the self reproducing messengers could carry but bit my tongue after the flak I got on the other contribution.

it is amazing that some people don't understand humor when animals are involved. One of the best movie scenes I remember is "A Fish called Wanda" when that old lady's yorki got smashed.

They even adapted parts that scene for a Nescafe spot.
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something
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 5:29 pm

RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:08 am

As a kid, I actually did try to kick them away. Not because I wanted to hurt them, but because it was new to me to get that close to birds. Aesthetically pleasing ones seem to not even sit still for the camera. The idea that my efforts were met by an approving chorus was quite amusing to me.

And especially now that these winged rats are plaguing my neighborhood I wish I could put on my helicopter helmet and golf-club a few of them away. Which again, is a joke. I don't have a helicopter helmet  
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:18 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 39):
it is amazing that some people don't understand humor when animals are involved.

I'd like to suggest not to worry about my sense of humor.
I support the right to arm bears
 
something
Topic Author
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:39 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 41):
Quoting PanHAM (Reply 39):
it is amazing that some people don't understand humor when animals are involved.

I'd like to suggest not to worry about my sense of humor.

What's with all the hostility? I can't even run over a pigeon with my car, but the idea of a little child kicking a pigeon and people applauding it is very amusing. It was meant in jest and the idea of pigeons carrying explosives is just as much a joke. It's about 'ha, I got back at you for annoying me!' and there's no glorification of violence or animal cruelty involved at all. That's at least how I understood it.
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
PanHAM
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:24 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 41):
I'd like to suggest not to worry about my sense of humor.

I wasn' worried, I was amazed and even more now.
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Quokka
Posts: 1315
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:23 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 34):
You are telling me that Quokkas rather than flying cockatiels have shades of grey?

Yes but, to quote Procol Harum, mine are a whiter shade of grey.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 37):
"Self reproducing messenger systems on biological basis"

LOL. Do they have a part number/ item code?

Quoting something (Reply 40):
Which again, is a joke. I don't have a helicopter helmet

So why the golf club? Pray tell.
 
something
Topic Author
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:11 pm

Quoting Quokka (Reply 44):
Quoting something (Reply 40):
Which again, is a joke. I don't have a helicopter helmet

So why the golf club? Pray tell.

I was being sarcastic. I made a joke about being cruel to animals, then emphasized I was just joking, but then jokingly made it sound as if the part I was joking about was me having a helicopter helmet - which would imply I was serious about my intentions to club pigeons away.

But if you're asking why that idea was in my head in the first place, then I don't know. They always sit on top of something. On roof tops, chimneys, the top branch of trees. They never hide like sparrows do. And that reminds me of a golf ball sitting on a tee. The mental image of clubbing them away seems comical to me; like a cartoon character that gets catapulted out of town.

I also sometimes think of hitting people over the head with a cricket bat. Not like I could ever actually do that, but the idea of them having a black eye, a missing tooth (instantly) and little birds flying and chirping around their head is something that amuses me.

I think too much in cartoon law, I think.
..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
 
Quokka
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:26 pm

RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:25 pm

Quoting something (Reply 45):
I was being sarcastic.

Oh I know which is why I asked the silly question, trying to get into the spirit of things. Spirit? Where's the cognac?

I like the response and the association between pigeons sitting on something like a golf ball on a tee. I can understand the objection to calls disturbing your peaceful enjoyment. The local pigeons repeat something that sounds like "cuckoo poop", which given that we don't actually have cuckoos is a bit deceptive.

Quoting something (Reply 45):
I also sometimes think of hitting people over the head with a cricket bat.

That would never do. The approved implement is a baseball bat. You get a much better swing from so many more angles.  
 
baroque
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:27 pm

Quoting something (Reply 45):
I made a joke about being cruel to animals,

Time to refer to a short story by a poet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Loaded_Dog
Three gold miners named Dave Regan, Jim Bently, and Andy Page are sinking a shaft at Stony Creek. The trio own a young retriever dog named Tommy, described as "an overgrown pup... a big foolish, four-footed mate." Andy and Dave, fishing enthusiasts, devise a unique method of catching fish using explosives. The dog picks up an explosive cartridge in its mouth, and runs the fuse through the campfire, prompting the three men to flee. Tommy, thinking it a game, playfully chases down his "two-legged mates," who try everything in their power to escape the cartridge. When Dave seeks refuge in the local pub, the dog bounds in after him, causing the Bushmen inside to scatter. Tommy comes across a "vicious yellow mongrel cattle-dog sulking and nursing his nastiness under [the kitchen]," who takes the cartridge for himself. A crowd of dogs, curious about this unusual object, gather around the cartridge. The subsequent explosion blows apart the yellow cattle-dog and maims numerous others. For half an hour, the Bushmen who witnessed the spectacle are laughing hysterically. Tommy the retriever trots home after Dave, "smiling his broadest, longest, and reddest smile of amiability, and apparently satisfied for one afternoon with the fun he’d had."
 
Geezer
Posts: 1413
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:32 am

[quote=einsteinboricua,reply=25]That is just cruel and to applaud it is even worse. Anyone willing to harm animals like that will have no problem treating a person like that as well. It's one thing to torture/kill to get rid of a pest, but it's another thing to do so just for pleasure.

I totally agree with that; ( and I don't shoot pigeons anymore; starlings, yes, but not pigeons )


[quote=Quokka,reply=19]Does the mosquito cause diseases or do they simply transmit them? I am thinking along the lines of malaria and Ross River virus where the mosquito is the agent for carrying the disease from an infected person and injecting it when it bites another person.

Mosquitoes are are known as a "vector agent"; an organism which carries a disease causing virus of parasite, but is unaffected by it.

So it really isn't the bite of the mosquito that causes the disease, it's just that certain species of mosquitoes transmit ( or carry ) the disease causing virus or parasite, so when the mosquito bites you, you become infected with the disease causing agent that lives in the insect.
The mosquito "aedes aegypti" is the carrier for yellow fever, dengue fever, and chikunguna, while the anopheles mosquito carries malaria. ( The problem being, to most people, all mosquitoes tend to look alike.)

[quote=Quokka,reply=19]Would you be thinking of the monotremes: Ornithorhynchus anatinus and Tachyglossus aculeatus? Living in Western Australia I am less familiar with the life-cycle of the former but young of the latter more often fall prey to species of Varanus than they do to snakes.

I can tell you this.........an egg is an egg, regardless of the creature that lays it; I do realize that you have at least two species of monotremes in Australia; I'm not that "current" on which species of snakes in Australia will feed on eggs, some will, and some won't; The "varanus" you mention, ( a monitor lizard ) is quite different in it's habits than snakes are; all monitor lizards are very active, have a much higher metabolic rate than snakes, are very fast, and will eat ANYTHING that moves, or even is already dead. They eat other lizards ( including their own species ) any snake they can kill, any bird, small animal, and they will even eat "table scraps" ! Also, monitor lizards are very opowerful diggers, and have the ability to dig up turtle, alligator and crocodile nests and eat the eggs. I had a 3 ft Indian water monitor
(varanus salvatore ) that would gladly eat 20 to 30 mice in less than 10 minutes, would eat sparrows, starlings, water snakes, hamburgers, a chicken egg, and even a grass hopper ! ( Single most "voracious" eater of any animal I have ever had dealings with! )


Charley
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Do We Need Pigeons?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:48 am

IIRC, there is a little air force of pigeons in China. They are being trained so that in the event of all-out war and communications are cut off, they can serve as carriers as they did decades/centuries ago.

Many birds are underestimated. They are perhaps among (if not) the most intelligent vertebrates (next to humans and simian relatives, dolphins, and some cats and dogs).
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."

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