I’ll be honest, I’ve never liked pigeons, especially after I once woke up to a large one, cooing and bobbing its head, as it stepped into my unscreened apartment window. I lay still, thinking of an article I’d read about an awful disease you can get from pigeon poop, hoping it would bob its way back out. After awhile it did.
There are places in Winnipeg, like the sidewalks under the Donald Bridge and the entrances to the Osborne Transit Station, where I must always hold my breath and walk super fast over the splatters and piles of pigeon poop.
Last spring, some pigeons started hanging out on my balcony, flapping, cooing, and pooping.
I went into a battle mode not dissimilar to the squirrel battle I once had on my patio in another apartment (see “Trying to Like Squirrels Again,” January 6, 2020). Holding my breath, I slammed the door and shooed them away, but it was only a temporary solution. A friend suggested tying shiny DVD disks to the railing, but the movement only scared away some of them. I placed a fake owl on the balcony, moving it about regularly so the pigeons would think it was real, and had a bit of success. When summer came they all disappeared. One returned briefly this fall and then was gone again.
A few weeks back, while crossing over the Donald Bridge, I saw a slew of pigeons resting on the streetlights above. I did feel some relief that the Osborne Bridge, which I cross more often, doesn’t seem to attract them. But I did like the way they looked, way up there, nowhere near me.
So I’m trying to like them from afar.
I’m really am trying.