May 27, 2008

Pigeon wings

In Famous Square in City of Gondolas, tourists were feeding pigeons, pigeons that were so habituated that they would land on people's heads or sit on their arms. The sight was oddly fascinating, but disturbing as well. One little boy, who seemed to be there with his parents, kept screaming in fright as the pigeons dive-bombed his head, and he was sobbing by the time his parents finally paid attention to him and led him away from the area. One teenage girl had pigeons clinging to her shoulders and she just kept spinning around in a strangely hypnotic dance.

When I walked into the flock of pigeons, I closed my eyes almost right away, because one landed on my head, and two more on my bare arms. I held my arms stiff, and I could feel their claws on my skin, the weight of each bird shifting and moving, their wings beating the warm air.

I read later on the internet that the long tradition of feeding pigeons in the square was outlawed this month. It's true that we didn't see anyone selling birdseed; most people were feeding the pigeons scraps of their own lunches. But I think the tradition itself may take some time to fade away.

Pigeon wings

That's me, with some pigeons.

10 comments:

jar said...

I would have to close my eyes also and then hope that I would not freak out.

Ianqui said...

Much as i love birds, and I really do, there's NO WAY I'd walk into a square full of dive-bombing pigeons. I hate to say it, but that's just nasty.

K said...

The City That You Are In is my favorite city of all time, but I honestly hate the pigeons. They look like they are eating your face.

*shudder*

But I love all of the other photos and your descriptions of the city.

Wol

Silver Creek Mom said...

I would have freaked. I have a fear of birds since i was drummed by a partiage at an early age.

Black Pete said...

Cue The Birds soundtrack...

BerryBird said...

How strange that the pigeons land right on you! I wonder if people had been putting birdseed in the hair or hats?

D.M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scrivener said...

Wow, the things you do for art. That's a great self-portrait.

susan said...

All your other travel posts have been making me want to go there. But this one is just weirding me out. But it is a very cool photo.

comebacknikki said...

Rats with wings!!!