If you were to ask me what I loved most about the environment around me here in the United States of America, you are bound to hear a rather odd comment back from me. I have spent the past few weeks of my fellowship here in the various states, walking around. I think that is the best way to learn the most about the environment around you and I’m really glad I did that. And here’s the weird bit I learned:
Pigeons and birds are so comfortable walking around people.
I am one of those people who will be happy to take a detour if I see a small animal infront of me who I think might be frightened of me, so these birds really intrigue me. They fly down to the ground and just stay here. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen birds walk around as much as I have seen them walking here in the past few weeks. I found it particularly funny when a pigeon was trying to cross the road at the same time I did.
You have to understand that the only memory I have of pigeons is in London, where I was trying to get the pigeon to eat out of the palm of my hand, quite unsuccessfully because irritating small boys and girls were running around in aimless circles scaring them birds off. Even at that time, I remember thinking now why the heck they would want to do that!
Pigeons and birds, by nature, are very sensitive creatures and the fact that they are learning to cope with boisterous human behavior is indeed a fascinating marvel of nature.
As Mary Poppins would say, “Feed the birds!” We certainly benefit in having more birds on the ground waking around us than up in the air dropping in on us unannounced!