FERAL PIGEON – PHOTO BY ALAN D. WILSON
Sure, they have a bird-brain, but pigeons may have a little more upstairs than most people would like to think. A recent study by French researchers indicates that urban pigeons can quickly identify the differences between kindly folk who regularly bring out the seed bags and those who stomp, chase, shoo them away.
According to the UPI, urban pigeons have big populations:
…as a result of low levels of predation and the year-round availability of food and breeding sites.
“Considered as a plague in many cities, pigeons in urban areas live close to human activities and exploit this proximity to find food — which is often delivered by people,” the team of French scientists wrote in the journal Animal Cognition.
Researchers tested their theory at an urban park with two human feeders – one neutral and one hostile. The birds were savvy enough to discriminate between the feeders even when the humans exchanged coats. Individual movements and characteristics are what the birds are latching onto, the researchers surmised.
Now, if we could only get them to poop in a central location, we might start enjoying them more….