urban fauna

East Williamsburg’s Alleged Pigeon Poisoner

Photo: moistock/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Someone is (or isn’t) poisoning pigeons in East Williamsburg. A post on Nextdoor written earlier this month includes photos of a wall of signs. One of them states, “You didn’t have to kill my friends,” in ominous red lettering. Another reads, “This is their neighborhood too,” alongside a tender drawing of two pigeons cuddling. “You could have just asked us to move and we would have.” The post alleges the signs were put up by a neighbor who had been feeding pigeons on the block. “Maybe he shouldn’t have been doing it, but maybe concerned neighbors can talk to each other before doing stuff like this,” the post reads. (“This” being supposedly poisoning all of the pigeons.)

Two facts remain unclear: how the pigeons died and if they are even dead. One sleuth makes an important point in the comments: “How do you know they poison the birds where are the carcasses?” In response to a commenter’s query about whether it was rat poison that had killed the pigeons, the original poster notes, “We don’t know if there are even dead pigeons.”

A search of local papers didn’t turn up any news on pigeon deaths. Despite the fact that no pigeon poisoner has been caught and no bodies have been found (yet), comments quickly devolved into whether it is bad to feed pigeons. Those against argue that it brings rats around. Defenders note that pigeons eat the birdseed so quickly that an impact on the rat population is unlikely. This debate then sparked a secondary argument about whether it’s okay to feed cats, even though cat food might attract rats, given that it’s negated by the fact that cats hunt rats. (“Feeding stray cats is not the same as feeding rats directly, because cats REMOVE rats from the area.”) Others point out that people are the primary trash culprits in the city.

Regardless of these people’s opinions on feeding pigeons (or cats), everyone seems to agree that poisoning them is unacceptable. As one commenter puts it, “Anyone that would poison a flock of pigeons will poison you as well!”

East Williamsburg’s Alleged Pigeon Poisoner