Feral Pigeon Project (2007)
Pigeons have not only inhabited successfully within cities around the world but dominated public spaces. Urban landscape must have hit their feathery spot with abundant food and protection from natural hazards for which human built the city at first.
In many ways, pigeons are specialized for urban environment. Ability to fly and their excellent vision along with resistance to avian flu makes them deserve the title king of the sky. (or rats with wings.)
Despite their amazing ability to adapt and survive they are usually hated for various reasons. Lack of urinary bladder causes them to discharge whenever, wherever and most of the times, it is where we love to be.
Among all the reasons, corrosive acid dropping is the biggest reason they are hated for.
Excerpt from Fight Club (1999)
Pigeons used to fly more often to feed from scarce food sources, spending most energy. However in urban areas, flying became so un-trendy among them, the act of flying is nearly obsolete thus causing excessive energy stored, leading them to breed more often.
They have yet to develop electricity, so other than courting and breeding what else could they do at night?
Oriental turtle dove(originally wild)/feral pigeon hybrid feeding on mulberry
Washington Square Park 4/15-4/21 2007
Behavior and Preference Test
On a fine day in April, a wooden structure was brought out to Washington Square Park in downtown Chicago, to find out how they behave and react to various foods in different settings. The structure had 3 layers including a round and a 2x4 roost, and a flat surface where food were placed. Base is weighted with plaster, making it very stable for pigeons to perch on it.
Several types of edibles were carefully chosen for different sizes, hardness, colors and tastes to satisfy pigeons' taste buds(if they have any). Attracting them was very easy. Just throw some food in the air then they fly over as soon as they see it.
For a week, the food was left untouched. They did fly and ate when I manually dispersed food.
Less calories mean less breeding. Pigeon Pizza is a humanity's first engineered pigeon food made with agar agar, a popular diet ingredient, makes the calorie intake low even the birds devour the whole pie. Big bright orange chunk is easy to spot but must be torn down to pieces for the birds to consume, resulting even lesser calories.
It resembles the lovely appearance of pavement pizza which pigeons love to snack on.
The once hated birds are now capable of producing flowering manure from the flower seeds in the pizza pie. The more they defecate, the more greens there will be!