On our recent trip, we saw many exciting things in France and Germany: monuments, museums, landscapes, rivers, you name it. For Phoebe, however, the highlight of the trip was getting to see so many pigeons. She saw pigeons all over the place! (See her chase a pigeon in the short, short movie I posted earlier this week.)
Loved by some, hated by many, pigeons are a ubiquitous in cities the world all over. Some folks have been known to call them “rats with wings,” while others happily share their breadcrumbs with them. After its trip away, Themed Things Thursday flies home this week with a list of pigeons.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems. A picturebook about a mischievous pigeon who would like to drive a bus. (There’s a sequel, too, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, in which the pigeon, and I hope I’m not giving too much away here, finds a hot dog.)
- Wringer, by Jerry Spinelli. This Newbury Honor book is about a forbidden boy-pigeon friendship in a town that hosts an annual pigeon shoot.
- Ewan McGregor’s character in Little Voice (1998) kept pigeons as pets.
- Valiant (2005) was a movie about a heroic World War II homing pigeon (voiced by Ewan McGregor…am I sensing a pattern here?).
- Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, by Tom Lehrer. A song:
When they see us coming,
the birdies all try and hide
but they still go for peanuts
when coated with cyanide
- Rapper Pigeon John is not really a pigeon, at least as far as I know.
- Some may remember Sesame Street’s Bert dancing a pigeon-like dance to “doin’ the pigeon,” a clip of which is available on YouTube. (You can also see actual pigeons dancing, if you want to compare.)
- There was an 80’s kids’ TV show called Pigeon Street. (The intro is also up on YouTube.)
- In spite of their bad reputation as a species, certain pigeons have received an especially elevated status for birds. Namely, bird of peace. In this context, the pigeon is referred to as a dove. A dove being a white pigeon.
- Doves are featured in various myths and religious tales, such as the well-known story of Noah’s Ark. Land was found with the help of a dove, who flew back to the ark with an olive branch.
- There is also a flock of pigeon-oriented idioms and terms such as:
pigeon hole, stool pigeon, pigeon-toed, pigeon-chested, setting the cat among the pigeons, and pigeon blood ruby.
- Brian Pigeon: There is even a blog out there written by a London pigeon. Check it out for a pigeon’s eye view of the world.