The Pigeon Whisperer

From the comments thread of the previous post, Christopher F. Smith‘s fine tale of a 16th and Mission original.

F-Ing Owls, How Do They Work?

Here’s the thing. Many property owners in San Francisco seem to think that life size owl statues placed as if perching on the edge of the rooftops will be a deterrent to the local pigeon population. I can go along with that as an idea. The scarecrow, right? Sounds good. But does it actually work? Internet people, via search engines, seem to think that they don’t work unless they’re selling them.

I decided to do something similar to what an actual journalist would do and took a look around.

Fake And Ineffectual

Here we find a little trio (they’re not a “gang” just because they’re chilling together) relaxing on some garbage cans under the watchful eyes of the owl. No threat here. No thought that the “owl”, a natural predator, would ever swoop down and snatch them up. Are they co-existing or do they even notice?

Owls And Pigeons

Here we see two pigeons hanging with two owls. No problem. Everyone’s cool. Jokes on us, they’re actually having a good time together. They enjoy the company.

My thought, the pigeons (Rock Dove sounds nicer) are such urban creatures that they don’t recognize that the owls are supposed to resemble another bird. They think it’s part of a Community Thrift pickup that was left behind. They’d no sooner expect it to come down upon them like a fierce beast of fury than they would cower under an old broken Mr. Coffee.

What do you people think? In any case, I enjoy seeing fake owls around. I think we should mix it up, though. A vulture here and there. Maybe two swans to make pigeons fall in love. A dodo to make them feel superior. Then a peacock to bring them back down to size.