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Pigeon in the rain, stock image


Well, in 1963, their publicity took a nose dive when two deaths were blamed on pigeons spreading disease. The term “rats with wings” first appeared in print in 1966, quoted by the New York City Parks Commissioner. And it was in the 1980’s when a film brought the term into public awareness.​​


But a lot of the bad press has no foundation in the truth!


​​It is incorrect to claim that pigeons are harmful to human health because there is such a minor risk of contracting illness after contact with pigeon droppings, and disease transmission from pigeon droppings is vanishingly rare. There is almost no threat of catching something from pigeon poop unless you have an impaired immune system or come into excessive contact with the droppings. And you’re at as much of a risk of bird fancier’s lung with pigeons as you are with any other bird.  ​​Of course, too many pigeon droppings can disfigure statues and clog spaces, but if society were willing to offer pigeon alternative nesting spaces and, rather than litter (which causes them poor diet and subsequently the droppings are a less-than-desirable-consistency), offer them seed and berries and grain, then there would be much less of a problem.​​


What seems to offend society is pigeon’s very presence. We bought them here then abandoned them, they thrived on their own, and now we hate them. ​​But as far as ‘pests’ go, pigeons are harmless and actually quite remarkable birds.


What they deserve, at the very least, is kindness. Society is measured by its most vulnerable, and we have a duty to provide compassion to the earth and its creatures. I mean, what’s the alternative? ​


"If I am to be killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man." 

Pigeon Drawing, by Penny

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Meet the people passionate about pigeons and the driving force behind Penny's Pigeon Aid.

Learn more about how you can help pigeons, whilst also protecting natural habitats within urban spaces.

Find out how Penny's Pigeon Aid is igniting social change, and altering the way that pigeons are viewed, forever.

Find out where it all began by meeting the little pigeon that changed the world, and a very remarkable friendship.

Pigeon Drawing, by Penny

Pigeons are fed by many members of different religions including Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs for spiritual reasons. Some older Sikhs will ceremoniously feed them in honour of Guru Gobind Singh, a high priest who was renowned as a friend to pigeons.

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