Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Pigeons... the pigeons...

Last night I was out with the dog, he has developed a new neurosis: he only wants to go out in the dead of night. No peeing in public while the sun shines for my boy. Yeah. It's pretty awesome, huh? At around 3:30 a.m. we were doing what Basil likes to do outside: stand in front of the building and hang out. *sigh* Boring. But it's probably just as boring to him when I'm on the computer, so fair's fair I guess.

There was not a helluva lot of activity on my street last night. Not even another dog walker. So I was staring up at my windows, because I love to look at them from the street now that I have such bright and cheerful window treatments up. While admiring my own decorating skilz I noticed a pigeon on the ledge under my window. I miss the pigeons.

When I first moved into this apartment lo these many eons ago, there was what people referred to as a pigeon problem. I didn't see it as a problem. I loved them!

The problem was that we have a fire escape on the front of the building, and there is a ledge under the bottom platform of the fire escape (right below my windows) that makes an ideal spot for pigeon nests! Because it sort of has a roof, slated, but still it's some protection from the elements and it's pretty much impossible to get to... unless you're a pigeon.

I didn't see this as a problem because for the first time I got to see baby pigeons! You know, living in New York, or any larger city, you see pigeons constantly. They are everywhere. But you almost never see babies. They start looking like adults very, very quickly and so you can't really tell if you're seeing an adult or a young bird. Having the nest outside the window was really fun. For me. I like the animals, I can't help it. Not everyone feels this way.... so the pigeons were eventually 'dealt with'. I'm not sure exactly what was done, but they have been absent for at least 12 years. Lately, however, they seem to be making a come-back. Hurray!

The one I saw last night was sooo sleepy it was adorable. He just kept stretching and trying to get comfortable to go back to sleep. Usually you see them wandering the street: tough guys, full of attitude, nothing scares 'em, 'we're here, we're pigeons, get used to it!" and I love that about them. Seeing a sleepy, sort of cuddly-seeming pigeon last night reminded me of how it used to be when they were ever-present.

I was told that the woman who had my apartment before me used to let the pigeons INTO the apartment and feed them. Which explains why it was renovated before I moved in - so many thanks to her for that. It also explains why they felt so at ease when we'd look into their nest. And why they had a real thing about mating outside my bedroom windows.

Yes. They did it ALL the time. It was like a pigeon playboy mansion out there!

I first noticed it late one night as I was attempting to sleep. Me and sleep... we have serious relationship issues. So I was wide awake. I had the windows open, my bedroom has a great view: air shaft. Oh yeah, very pretty. And I heard, what I believed was an old man snoring. Which would make sense... though I was unaware of any old men living in the building. But that's what it sounded like - and sound travels in that air shaft like you would not believe.

After awhile I found the sound oddly comforting. Which was odd, since snoring is usually annoying. Then I realized what it was.

I was experiencing a rare event: sleep. When a sound woke me - it was like someone trying to get in through the window. What it actually was, was the incredibly raucous mating of a pair of pigeons on the bedroom windowsill! It was quite a display of preening and then... you know, lots of banging and flapping. All that snoring I'd been hearing was the mating calls of pigeons!!

When people would sleep over I warned them about the pigeon sex fest that would likely happen. Because of the air shaft view my bedroom is like a sensory deprivation tank - people who sleep in there awake feeling like they could sleep for days. that was always happy news for me, the insomniac. But they would report that they had heard the snoring sound too, and yes, they thought it was soothing as well!

When the pigeons left, they left the nesting, and the orgies as well. I lost the white noise of the pigeon snoring. And in all the time I was so depressed and shit was constantly hitting the fan in my life, there were no pigeons. I'm a little better at sleeping the past couple of years, and redecorating the bedroom has really helped that - it's really serene there now. And just recently I've noticed a sound... it's like an old man snoring.

I think it's a good sign. The pigeons are coming back.

Me likey.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Cool! I didn't know that about pigeons. You should make a recording so we can hear what it sounds like.

Joy said...

That's a cool idea... except it might make me feel so... dirty! I mean I wouldn't want anyone recording... okay nevermind. ;)

Bella said...

Who'd think that pigeons would be so soothing? At my old place we had doves, and I love that sound. They loved to mate on my patio outside (3rd floor). My parents have had a nest of hummingbirds in their yard. It was so neat seeing those little birdies who can flap their wings so fast just learn how to eat and finally fly away. Very cool stuff.

d. chedwick bryant said...

my husband came home yesterday and said "I saw two pigeons fighting over a whole hot dog today!" and he went on to say it was so cute that another guy walking by commented on it--"Look-- pigeons with a hot dog."

I saw a one legged pigeon once, I wanted to ask him what happened. where is Dr. doolittle when you need him?

RAFAEL the trainer said...

Ummm, You have wayyy to much time on your hands Joy. You should go to the gym and at least kill an hour everyday. I like pigeons but the mating rituals of pigeons i can do without.i have an entity, "brolic" in my psyche that makes his own pigeon like mating rituals. though i think your story has depth, you should get out more.Your friend, the trainer!