I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pigeon Alliance at Joe's Crab Shack

There are always pigeons. They're not the same as seagulls and rats at the water's edge, but they are always around and they interest me. Living a life of scavenging and close calls, here, they seem to find purpose under the feet of man.
As we ate our dinner over the waters of the Sacramento river, we began to notice something scurrying under the tables.
Vague forms... here and then gone. I could see that these little land rovers were not mice or rats but birds... pigeons to be specific, and moving at the speed of light under and through the tables on this open deck.
I grabbed my camera and tried to document the coming and goings of this bird of opportunity.

Moving at a fast pace, grabbing a tidbit and  scampering away quickly.
This reminded me of another group (gang) that use to come into a store that I worked in just before I got married. It was in Berkeley, California in 1964. I was working for Roos Atkins across from the University of California. We sold wonderful, rather expensive clothing  and there were some folks who thought that they should have these clothes and not pay for them. They would come in "gangs" and split up. One would occupy a sales person while the other would take things to the dressing rooms. Eventually, we received photos of these gangs and were able to alert the managers if we saw one of the "gang members" come into the store.
It's a little harder with pigeons.
They tend to move more quickly and seems to disappear into thin air.
This one is vanishing  into nothingness. Do you see this? His head and front foot are almost gone and his shadow is blending into the concrete. He's disappearing. I knew something fishy was going on. I would try to take a picture and all of a sudden... the bird wouldn't be there. 
When I got home I read up on these birds. Here is all the information you will ever want to know about Pigeons.
After all, they have carried messages, stopped wars and filmed secret meetings with foreign countries.
Yes, I had to laugh too. 
I guess we shouldn't laugh at all because there are between 17 and 28 million pigeon type birds in this world and, as Gandhi said, "... 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350 million Indians, if those Indians refuse to cooperate." (Substitute mankind for "Englishmen" and Pigeons for "Indians".)
So, I think we need to have a little more respect for these pretty and intelligent birds.

They walk kind of funny
  but then... I can't fly, so who am I to criticize.

We had a great lunch and the pigeons did the rest. That floor was really clean compared to most restaurants.
Did you know that Some Sikhs also feed pigeons because they believe that when they are reincarnated they will never go hungry if they have fed pigeons in their previous life.  Other religious groups in India believe that when a person dies his or her soul assumes the form of a bird (normally a pigeon) and therefore by feeding birds they are caring for the souls of their departed ancestors. Interesting theory. 
If this is true, more respect for these birds is in order.

Hope you're having a peaceful and relaxing Sunday.


  1. ha. reminds me of DC...the pigeons are def notorious there...and will take anything that falls on the ground


  2. Very interesting post. I always learn something from you wonderful post. Have a blessed evening.

  3. Great story. I love watching pigeons too. However, I have never given the thought to how they have affected people through the ages. I guess I better start:)

  4. What a wonderful trip down the river and that crab shack!!!yum! Oh I envy your warm sunny days indeed...pigeons are a strange bird, they have always reminded me of chubby old ladies!

  5. sister after my heart, I loed this post
    I actually find pigeon watching relaxing and interesting
    and I do take a stab to the heart everytime I think how hated they are....we brought them here...
    away from their rookeries in other lands
    now we despise them...who are we?
    I think their feathers are beautiful and I too, love watching them walk and listening to their coos
    Hawks love them too...:(
    they can be dirty birds
    I get that.....but they didn't ask to come here....have pity on these unwashed of the bird kingdom
    I am certain they will be in heaven too

  6. I sure enjoyed the post...and learned something new about pigeons. Very interesting.

  7. I recently did a reading assessment with a child. He was reading a piece for me about how pigeons had cameras attached to their bellies during the world war and were very useful. EXCEPT that, the child misread the word pigeon. He said PENGUIN. It was very difficult not to laugh as he read the story of PENGUINS flying over enemy lines with cameras on their bellies...LOL!

  8. Hooray for your pigeon post! I think they are beautiful birds I would love to raise someday! I love them!


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