Im not usually in the city centre at lunch time to be one of the lunchers said to usually be at risk of bombarding pigeons (though have once had the unfortunate experience of being in the tragectory of a malicious seagull at Brighton)...but it does pay to keep your observation skills on alert when in areas known for pigeon over-population.....and especially under any trees when walking around the city centre.
In addition to pigeons getting fed by the be kind to pigeons and help them stay fit and healthy and keep the population growing people in various parks around London, we were almost stunned to watch a mob of pigeons nose dive straight on in to a table next to us at Burger King inside Victoria Railway Station the moment a family left the remains of their McDonalds....with noone making any effort to shoo them away - not particularly hygienic!
When feeding the pigeons at Trafalgar Square be careful that they don't decide to bomb you with their droppings. Like other animals they carry diseases so if you are feeding them better you wear gloves. They are a real nuisance defecating on buildings and many Londoners consider them to be rats with wings. However there was a time when they were considered to be heroes when 250,000 of them were in the service of the Royal Air Force carrying messages, and believe it or not but 32 of them received the Dicken Medal for their bravery.
It is the pigeons
on Nelson's hat
who make it white"
DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS. They are vermin.
Actually, now that they've cleaned Nelson's column (loved the look of it when they had it all boxed in for the process) the hat is naturally white- or rather a pale stone colour rather than the smog-produced black. In the process it was discovered that the column was significantly shorter than had been thought, necessitating a complete recalibration of all the Units of Imprecise Measure, as used by factoids.
There are lots of gaurds in yellow jackets that will watch to make sure that no one is feeding the birds. Although I love the tradition but there is a new law that the mayor of london passed that said that you should not feed the birds because there droppings ruin the scenery. I hate not feeding them but its either that or the clink.
Pigeons are vermin.
That means they are not protected by law.
They carry diseases and they make a huge and insanitary mess.
They are a real public nuisance in London (and other cities).
Please do not feed them.
Three human diseases are known to be associated with pigeon droppings: Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcosis, and Psittacosis. They all result in years of unimaginable pain and then death. There are no known medicines to alleviate the pain or prolong life. OK. Only the names of the diseases are true, but do you want to contract anything you cannot pronounce? Pigeons are flying rats. Just plain nasty. Fortunately there are expensive fines in some places for people hell-bent on feeding these rodents. They don’t need it. They can live in the wild, find food and not poo all over people in congested urbanised areas. The only reason they are pooing on your head is because people either feed them (bad) or from food litter from irresponsible people (worse).
.... that you are never more than a few feet from a rat anywhere in London??
It is just bizarre that someone would throw piles of fresh meat on to a busy and popular public thoroughfare - the SOUTH BANK!!.. I mean... what were they thinking??? This is just disgusting.
The pigeons of course, just like rats, will eat anything...
Some view them as a London icon, something to be fed, and enjoyed.
Others view them as a menace!
London has millions of pigeons, mostly of the grey variety, and now and again a white one.
When eating in an outdoor area, watch out for them.... if you leave your food for an instant, they will be all over it!
As can be seen in the first photo, the ladies left their seat for a couple of minutes to get their order inside, and whilst they were away... the pigeons did play!
The best thing to do with these now very tame creatures, is to ignore them. Do NOT feed them and encourage them in any way, as they will badger you... Alfred Hitchcock's scarey movie, 'The Brds', comes to mind!! Aaaaah.
Plus... bird poo aint nice... and if they suddenly take flight next to you... they may leave you a little green and slimey calling card!!!
Uncle Ken Livingstone (the Mayor) is fighting a long and protracted battle to cut the numbers of Pigeons on Trafalgar Square. He claims they are a health risk and cost millions in cleaning bills for the monuments and buildings.
To this end he has tried to stop people selling corn in the square - but people come and just feed them anyway. The pigeons swarm all over them (like in Hitchcocks's the Birds, says Ken)
So if you want to avoid something nasty and don't want to be covered in Pigeon, or their waste - avoid.
Alternatively you could feed them amphetamines and watch them fall out of the sky following a heart attack. Uncle Ken mysteriously ignored this suggestion of mine.
Who has never seen the movie of Marry Poppins and the old lady feeding the birds?
Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes.
In her own special way to the people she calls,
"Come, buy my bags full of crumbs.
Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry,
Their nests are so bare;
All it takes is tuppence from you."
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.
But all that is over now!
If you don't get it yet! Here it is in many languages and in a pictogram!
No feeding the pigeons! What you eat must come out again and that goes exactly the same for these birds. In big masses they can produce quite some piles of bird poop and this ***ty mass of poop is so strong that it will damage the surrounding buildings, the statues and maybe smut your new outfit. So one good advice: don't!
I caught this sign at Trafalgar Square, a pigeon paradise!
As children we always enjoyed going to Trafalgar Square to feed the pigeons. We'd buy seed from the local touts and see how close the pigeons would come. Would they feed from your hand?
Now all that is no longer ' politically correct'.
Pigeons are considered as vermin. Scattering seed is litter! So are bird droppings.
But somehow fun is being taken away from our children.
NY has plenty of "pigeons" (rats with wings, more like). However, the "pigeons" in London are like no other bird I've ever encounter in my life. First of all they're healthy, lively, vivacious, and have no qualms about taking a dump on your head.
Not that this happened to me of course...
Watch out of the pigeons! Don't walk under trees and don't *** them off!
Hah! Paddington Pidgeon? you ask. Isn't it Paddington Bear?
No, Paddington Pidgeon, my friend. You see we were alighting from our taxi at Paddington Station to catch the Heathrow Express on our way home. Suddenly, Mrs. B. shouts, "Oh look at that!!"
On top of one of the suitcases was a big, white, gooey splotch. Immediately I thought it was a pickpocket catching our attention by squirting some white goo on our cases. But looking around the only person in sight was the cabbie inside his cab. Looking up we saw Paddington Pidgeon looking down on us with a devilish grin on his beak. Dirty Bird!!
To compound the problem, we had to find something to clean with. I headed to the mens loo, which of course in beneath the station at about sea level. No paper towels, but I grabbed some tissue and ran back up the stairs, wiped things up the best I could and then looked around for a rubbish container. Nope, none around. Security reasons I surmise. So, it's back down the stairs to the loo again.
We still have that stain on that suitcase to remind us of our little British flying friend.
I wanted to add this picture primarilly because of the look on this pigeons face... doesn't it look British!
I guess I have never been close enough to a pigeon to see if they are all British, but this one looks that way!
If you agree let me know!
As the official tip though, I would just be warned that where there are this many pigeons, there is bound to be a dry cleaner making a ton of money!!
Once upon a time Trafalgar Square used to be chock full of pigeons. Nelson on top of his column was covered in white gunge (I wonder where that came from!) and the floor of the Square was like a skating rink as you slipped around in the same white gunge that was on top of Nelson.
There used to be sellers selling seeds to feed the pigeons with. These days it is forbidden to feed pigeons. They have been likened to flying rats as they carry lots of infections around with them.
There aren't so many pigeons in London anymore, and we like it that way, please don't feed them and encourage more excrement!