A good friend asked me the other day about my favourite animal. I replied that I like birds, but especially pigeons and eagles. She could understand why I chose eagles, but seemed perplexed by why I would like pigeons.
When I started thinking about the reasons why I like pigeons, I realised there are several reasons, and the full explanation is quite long. I instinctively thought that I must’ve written a post about this before, but all I could find were a post about Peregrin falcons (in which pigeons get a mention) and one about why I like wedge-tailed eagles. If you search my blog, there are a few other posts where pigeons are mentioned briefly or in passing, but nothing significant.
In one of the posts, I mentioned that I like pigeons because they’re humble and unassuming. I also think they’re quite cute because they look rather dopey. (I’m glad my friend could see the cuteness in them once I’d pointed it out.)
The other reason I like pigeons is a bit more unusual, I guess.
When my friends travel to other countries (for holidays, to visit family or what have you), I sometimes ask them if the pigeons in those countries are the same as the ones here. To which everyone has said yes, they’re pretty much the same.
I also went through a brief phase, ages ago, of asking friends who had grown up in other countries if their pigeons were the same as the ones here too. Again, as far as I can remember, the answers were always in the affirmative.
So that’s the other reason I like pigeons: the pigeons here are basically the same as the pigeons anywhere. It’s like some sort of obscure uniting commonality. I could go anywhere, meet anyone, and our experience of pigeons would not be too dissimilar.
Another friend pointed out that it’s kind of ironic that I would consider them unifying in any way, since most people probably dislike pigeons, look upon them with disgust, and/or see them as pests. To which I didn’t really have an answer except that sometimes hating the same thing unites people too…
But you can make the word “untie” from “unite”, so what does it matter anyway?
Besides, they are one of my favourite animals, so technically it’s only my own perception that carries weight in this.
To be fair, apart from pigeon breeders, and Bert from Sesame Street, I don’t think many people would rank pigeons in their top three favourite animals. But, just like my friend acknowledged that pigeons are cute once I pointed it out, maybe other people would also think better of them if their attention was appropriately directed.
(Actually, pigeon breeders might disdain common pigeons, and see them as being far beneath the regal breeds they look after but whatever.)
I also like pigeons because I like that gentle cooing sound they make. I think it’s quite pleasant and soothing.