Pigeons get no respect. More reviled than perhaps any other species for the mess they make, their copious poop, and their general ubiquity, they are disliked, cursed, and stuck with monikers like “rat with wings.” But the Feral Pigeon has much about it that should be admired. They are survivors, able to exist in urban centers, farm fields, and almost anywhere in between. They are actually quite beautiful as anyone who has seen a flock of pigeons wheeling across the sky can attest, to say nothing of the green and purple hues that shine when the sun hits them. And, so far as I know, though they have been introduces across a huge portion of our world, they are not blamed for displacing native species in the places where people have brought them.

So, when I couldn’t find anything else to photograph on Sunday morning I turned my digiscoping rig upon some pigeons I found at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. Why? Because I like pigeons. There, I said it. (I also needed something to feed this hungry monster known as the blog.) The next time you see a pigeon don’t try to kick it out of your way or curse it or otherwise malign this fine species that deserves some attention. Instead, enjoy the pigeon. Appreciate the pigeon. Respect the pigeon. It is, after all, a bird.

Feral Pigeon portrait 2

Look at those colors! What a beauty!

Feral Pigeon piebald

Even the piebald birds are beautiful.

Feral Pigeon portrait

Don’t you want to take this pigeon home and hug it and love it and name it George?

Feral Pigeon near albino

Look, a near-albino! Pigeons are great fun to look at if only for their variety, a relic of their having been domesticated and bred for various traits.

Of course, this isn’t the only time we here at 10,000 Birds have defended the pigeon. For example, Dragan recently looked at pigeons world wide in a fascinating post. Embrace the pigeon. You know you want to.

If you liked these images make sure to head on over to 10,000 Clicks, the 10,000 Birds photo-galleries page, and see our large and growing collection of galleries.

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.