Why Pigeons Deserve Better

Why Pigeons Deserve Better


Pigeons are some of the most hated birds in the world. Their presence is clear in many major cities around the world. They are commonly referred to as “the rats of the sky”, but it wasn’t always that way. They used to be valued as loyal companions and messengers. Now, they’re hated and considered a nightmare to anyone that lives in the city. 


A carrier pigeon with a WWII soldier. Carrier pigeons were used to send messages behind enemy lines.

Pigeons have been domesticated for many years, dating back up to 10,000 years ago. They were originally farmed as a food source, being a dominant source of food in Europe and the Middle East. They were also very good at finding their way home, which led to homing pigeons. Carrier pigeons were used by Ghengis Khan to keep track of his empires. They were also used by the United Kingdom during WWII to send messages behind enemy lines, and were stopped being used in 1948. Other than these uses, pigeons were bred for their beauty. The companionship that they had with humans helped them learn more about the pigeons, such as them being monogamous and being very protective over their offspring. There are over 500 breeds of fancy pigeons and people have been breeding them for thousands of years. 

Turning Point

A group of pigeons on a city sidewalk. They stay in the city since they’re used to a human-made environment.

Pigeons were first brought to the USA in the 1600’s by the colonists. They were originally brought here to be farmed for food, but due to them being able to fly, a lot of them ended up escaping. The pigeons that escaped usually lived in the areas where humans set up space for themselves, and thrived there. In the 1900’s things started to go downhill for the pigeon in America. They started to be considered a nuisance, and were no longer wanted. Since pigeons were no longer wanted, humans got rid of them, leaving the domesticated pigeon to fend for itself. In 1963, two deaths were blamed on pigeons and they were automatically deemed to be filthy, and that they carried diseases. None of this was ever proven true. It is actually extremely uncommon to get sick from coming in contact with a pigeon, and carrying diseases that are harmful to humans is exceedingly rare.


Pigeons are extremely misjudged creatures. From being loyal companions and used to send messages, to being seen as disease filled “rats of the sky”, pigeons have been through it all. Blind hatred for them left them lost and confused as their companions abandoned them. They do not deserve the treatment that they have received. Pigeons deserve better.

Works Cited

Dzikiewicz, Kate “The Tragedy of the Most Hated Bird in America”. Storage Room No. 2 Web. 17 April 2017.

Karlis, Nicole “Humans Domesticated Pigeons, then abandoned them. Is it time for a reappraisal”. Salon. Web. 26 Oct. 2021.

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