I don’t remember ever seeing any pigeons in Utah when I was a kid. I remember Burt on Sesame Street talking about how much he loved pigeons. I remember the Pigeon Dance that he did, but I don’t remember ever seeing them in Salt Lake. I vaguely remember asking my grandma why we didn’t have pigeons like Burt and Ernie did and I think she said pigeons only live in big cities.
God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. – J.G. Holland
My first memory of Salt Lake pigeons was in 1991. I had been married for over a year and we lived in a 400 square foot apartment in the Trolley Square area. My friend, Dawni, lived in a different apartment complex just down the street, so I would walk over every day or so to see her, swim in their pool and play tennis on their courts. On the walk over, I passed an abandoned church. I don’t know how long it had been dormant, but it had been long enough for the birds to move in. I remember being shocked at seeing so many pigeons in one area. I thought we weren’t a big enough city to have pigeons.
Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. – Izaak Walton (1593 – 1683)
Last Saturday, while I filled the gas tank on my car, I noticed a long line of pigeons on the electrical wires above me. They were intermingled with my beloved starlings that swarm the skies all year long here. The pigeons are so much larger than my beautiful little black birds that they were easy to distinguish. I began to think that maybe I just didn’t notice the pigeons when I was a child.
I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. – Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
I remember noticing the sparrows. They were the little birds that my cat, Sugar, hunted relentlessly. Sacrificial sparrow heads would show up at our doorstep every week or so. No matter how much we fed her, she never gave up hunting the little birds all year long. We removed our bird feeder, because Sugar was catching a bird a day when it was up. It hadn’t been a bird feeder; it was a cat feeder.
I remember noticing the starlings. They swarm like locusts instead of flocking like birds. The black cloud of birds would swoop and hover all over the fields of Kennedy Junior High. I remember watching them and wondering why they seemed more like insects when I looked at their flight patterns.
The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing. – Eric Berne
No, I’m wrong. I was the type of child to notice the shiny feathers and strange walk of pigeons. I had been on the lookout for them because Burt had loved them so much. If there had been flocks of pigeons in Salt Lake when I was a child, I would have noticed it. I guess Salt Lake is finally a big enough city to have pigeons.