Strictly for the Birds

What better way to spend one’s day off than on the top deck of a number 3 bus, inching very slowly past the Home Office? Well, I could think of plenty, so I went downstairs and pleaded with the bus driver to let me off. I know, I know, they’re not supposed to but he looked at me and looked at the traffic and decided the purely theoretical risk of letting me get out of a stationary bus in stationary traffic outweighed the very real and present danger of me bursting a blood vessel if he didn’t.

model_for_hotelI was taking the remains of my cold off to Trafalgar Square partly to see the latest installation on the fourth plinth – the one originally called ‘Hotel for the birds’ but renamed Model for a Hotel now that pigeons are enemy number one in London, pipping Osama Bin Laden and even Boris Johnson into second place. When I got there, no pigeons seemed to have checked in yet; indeed, apart from a few rather restless groups of them wheeling round the surrounding buildings, there weren’t any pigeons there at all.

The reason for that soon became apparent. I have often wondered – as I steer my bike around them – just what exactly pigeons are afraid of. Not me, obviously, and my feeble bell. Not – from the evidence of the squashed remains on the road – cars, not even on some occasions speeding express trains. But there is one fear hard-wired into their little pigeon brains and it’s this.

hawk_and_handler

And I’d rather see that than a whole barrel load of pigeons, any day. Don’t tell Brian, though.

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4 responses to “Strictly for the Birds

  1. That raptor looks mean, even for a raptor. Look at its menacing posture! I’d be bricking it if I were a pigeon who’d heard about this new boutique hotel and fluttered over to T. Square to take a peek.

  2. I think it had just spotted something yummy looking – a pigeon, or a small child, perhaps?

  3. i had pigeon curry once it was lovely
    cheers john

  4. John – wood pigeon or Trafalgar Square pigeon?

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