Thursday, December 29, 2005

fucking pigeons


Although composed primarily of concrete and other manmade materials, New York City offers its inhabitants myriad opportunities to observe nature's little miracles. Since taking up residence here I've marveled at subway-track-colored mice, noted that foot-long rats won't bite you if you don't know you're sleeping next to one on the couch in your college boyfriend's dorm room because two 6-feet-tallish people in a twin-sized bed is a little cumbersome sometimes, and learned that cockroaches do, indeed, fly. The other flying vermin, pigeons, have also proven good for observation, except for the one that divebombed the back of my head. Never did actually see that little daredevil. Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of learning some more about these precocious creatures, in the form of live pigeon porn right on my own terrace.

As I gazed out my window cursing myself for only "quitting" smoking for eight days, I noticed a presumably male pigeon puffing out its feathers and chasing a little hottie along the roof ledge. She wasn't having it, apparently, as she took off and left him alone and confused. He must've been a total player, since he resumed his feather-puffing when another nubile pigeonette arrived just moments later. What happened next was straight out of the Discovery Channel, aptly described by some other blogger:
When pigeons are engaging in mating rituals, we tend to simply disregard their antics as Things Stupid Birds Do. These include bowing (wherein the male nods his head at the female several times), blowing out his neck feathers and circling about her. All of which sounds an awful lot like human males on the make, don’t it? The male further impresses the female by spreading out his tail feathers and dragging them around her. Then he drives the female away from the other males by running close behind her. As things progress, the female may slip her bill into his and the two begin to rhythmically bob their heads up and down in unison. (Am I the only one who thought these were two males fighting over food?)

The next thing you know the male has jumped on the female’s back, and after a few seconds of precarious balancing sows the seeds of the next generation of rats-with-wings. Feeling rightly proud of himself, he then makes a big show of flying about slapping his wings together over his back to make big clapping noises. I guess it beats pecking at cigarette butts.

After the mounting part I dashed off to get my camera in order to practice for the day I finally become a National Geographic photographer. I'd seen plenty of animals going at it on TV and was sure that there had to be more. But, alas, the pigeons are stealthy buggers and don't waste any time. I'm still unsure about how this works anatomically and where the hell they lay all their eggs. And how come you never see any baby pigeons bobbing around? I suppose those are questions only answerable by the inevitable Mating of Urban Pests documentary.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Heheh, nothing but the best of memories for us. You remember one time in Woodbridge, we saw pigeon sex over on Saint A's? No baby pigeons, though. Have you ever considered applying to work for host Mike Rowe on the Discovery Channel show "Dirty Jobs"? I think you'd fit in quite naturally.