The Woman Who Talks to Pigeons

I was walking through Father Demo Square in the New York City’s West Village when a woman in a thick blue jacket began to throw bird seed on the ground from a plastic bag she held at her hip. Instantly, she was surrounded by pigeons, diving this way and that, swooping in for whatever scraps they could pick at.  She must have dropped eight or ten handfuls of the stuff, because soon she was once around the water fountain and pigeons filled the square.

As always, I had my camera with me so, like the birds, I swooped in. After snapping off only a few photos I heard someone behind me clapping and shouting “Fly home! Fly home!”  I turned around to see the woman who had just fed them staring at me with a concerned look on her face.  I smiled back.

“They don’t understand,” she said.  “They think that you’re trying to feed them, not take pictures.  And they need to go home.”

So, apparently, pigeons don’t understand the difference between feeding them and taking pictures, but they do understand the words “fly home.”  Thanks for the reality check, Dr. Dolittle.  Why don’t you tell them to stop pooping on statues or help fix the MTA’s budget deficit. Use those powers of pigeon communication for good, not the mundane.  And while I apologize for confusing the pigeons maybe you should just fly home too.

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4 thoughts on “The Woman Who Talks to Pigeons

  1. Elissa says:

    How low to the ground did you go to get that pigeon shot?! Fab!

  2. Denise says:

    Geeesh, you are a sour person. Maybe people are a bigger problem than pigeons. In Europe there is non of this childish antipathy toward pigeons. Get a grip, we all live on this planet.

    • Marc Cappelletti says:

      Thanks for reading, Denise. I read over the post again and yes, I was harsh. And I can see why you wrote this comment. I really wasn’t as altogether serious as the writing came though in the blog, and the fact that I was out there photographing them in the first place, I hope, shows that I was actually interested in the pigeons – just making a joke out of the woman’s communication. Much more non-sour posts to come.

      • Denise says:


        Sorry I FLEW to a judgment about you. I can see that writing a blog requires some copy pizzaz. Glad you’re a good guy. I belong to a great pigeon rescue group called NYCPRC (New York City Pigeon Rescue Central), so I’m a bit protective of pigeons. They have such a terrible time in US cities. It would not be hard to clean up after them, but this seems to be something that Mr. Real Estate, the Mayor, has no desire to bother with. That and anything concerning living, breathing entitities like homeless people, children, seniors, pets, wild animals. Yep anything that draws a breath is of no interest to this android. Unless he can rap some knuckles and say “No salt for you.” “Put that cigarette out.” “No transfats for you.” What next? Maybe “No breathing for you.” Keep up the great photos and commentary.

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