Joshua Lino-da Costa
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Pigeons - The Evolution of Fight or Flight

How pigeons will take over the world

Pigeons. The city vermin that nobody could catch. Originally, likening human behaviour to pigeons was similar to being a 'chicken' or a 'scaredy cat'. However, over the years, pigeons have evolved from long distance prey to bold attacker in a Darwin like journey second to none. Here, we will look at how pigeons have become one of the boldest animals in the kingdom today.

When I was a young lad, roaming the streets of London, it was difficult to get anywhere near a wild pigeon. Any noise within 100 metres would cause the bird to take flight making it difficult to learn anything about these unknown creatures. Some say this was the reason for long lensed cameras as zoologists were desperate to learn more about this unknown creature. As pigeons kept themselves to themselves, they were luring everyone into a false sense of security and I fear, they still are.

Firstly, it is important to remember the pigeon's ancestors. With all cases of oppression, many forget that pigeons were used as slaves, prior to the Royal Mail, subjected to the whims of humans who fastened heavy equipment and forced them to do their labour. These were known as carrier pigeons who were kept in cages and forced to train and learn the geography of a country they learned to detest. Small acts of defiance were common, with carriers often choosing certain oppressors as target practise before flying away without detection. However, defiance was also harshly punished with those refusing to work being put to death and feasted upon by their animalistic persecutors. Carrier pigeons were known to grow unnatural tumours as a result of their captivity as they were often forced into incestuous behaviour in an attempt to create a large carrier pigeon army.

Starving pigeons grew tumours on their beaks affecting the way they fed and reducing the likelihood of survival in the wild

Following the introduction of the Royal Mail in 1516, pigeons were slowly given their freedom. Although no official law has been passed, most pigeons were handed their freedom and by the late 1900's, there were less than 200,000 enslaved pigeons. However, it was only when the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 came into effect that it became illegal to shoot pigeons without a license. In my opinion, it was this act which was a turning point in the behaviour of the upcoming threat to the world.

As enslaved pigeons entered back into free society, their wild pigeon cousins were on hand to let them know of the threats to the world. Whilst now free birds, they were still treated as vermin and hunted for sport. Humans preyed on the now free birds for sport and actively used them in their idea of a healthy diet. At night, when the human threat seemed to be close to non existent, other wild animals preyed on the unsuspecting prey. This hostile environment forced pigeons into a life of solitude where they were unable to mix in with the community forcing them to become outcasts.

A rise in liberalism over the past couple of decades linked in with the extremity of political correctness has seen a rise in pigeon rights. Former oppressors have now become carers with many humans known to feed pigeons as well as care for injured ones. This has led to, what would appear to be, a taming of pigeons as it seems as though there is a much greater understanding and a cohabitating society. Venice is one of the best known places for this with pigeons known to come onto people's shoulders and feed from their hands. This was further shown in the popular show, Pokémon, where one of the main character's, Ash Ketchum, first and most used Pokémon was Pidgeotto, a pigeon like Pokémon.  

Popular Pokémon show- Ash Ketchum and Pidgeotto working together- A sign of rise in pigeon's social status

The evolution of the Pokémon is symbolic to the true nature of the pigeon. From starting as a small, easily beatable and caught bird to a strong fighting bird, capable to leading attacks. We are in the process of witnessing the transformation of pigeons from oppressed to eventual oppressor. In the past few years, you are hearing of pigeons attacking human trash and courageously approaching humans despite their smaller stature. You are also seeing the ability to lead other birds in the attack with a number of reports of seagulls taking human food from their hands whilst in 2017 there were reports of 12 attacks on humans by crows in Battersea Park during the month of June. 

Dr Fabio Gouveia, a specialist in the field of pigeon evolution, predicts the continued rise of the pigeon with the bird becoming the eventual dominant species in the world. 'It has been astounding to see this evolution of the pigeon. To see such timid creatures grow into the beasts they are today—it has been a marvel to see it first hand. I've been attacked first hand by their pellets of doom and this was my turning point where I realised that the oppression was over and the rise of the pigeon was upon us. 

People today need to realise that pigeons are not what they used to be. They have adapted to our politically correct society and have learned to overcome the fear that suppressed them. Pigeons have a longer history than most are aware of and what I fear most is humankind becoming the past pigeon. The time to open our eyes is now, before it is too late.'

We could not find a pigeon willing to make any comments. Maybe they do not want to give away their ideas. Maybe they just do not trust us. But if there is something that is becoming clear. Pigeons can not be trusted.

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