Observing People’s Behaviors: Connecting With Pigeons


by Mary-Sue

* Brace yourself for a very random post*

As a psychologist and researcher I’ve become pretty skilled at observing people’s behaviors. I like secretly spying on unsuspecting pedestrians from my balcony. Nobody notices I’m there so there is no “experimenter bias,” meaning that people behave differently because they know someone is watching them. Therefore the observed behaviors can be thought of as genuine actions stemming from the “participants” only.

So what is it then, this particular behavior that I have been observing the last two months? Well, I’ve become aware of the large amounts of birds in my new neighborhood. The animal kind, not the British equivalent for hot girls. Especially pigeons are very prominent in my area and there are three different ways people handle this inhabitant.

First of all, there are The Pigeon People (TPP) who are obsessed with the flying creatures. They say dog owners look like their dogs, well, the TPP descended from the same ancestor as the pigeons. You know how pigeons bob their heads when they walk? So do the TPP, especially when reunited with their third cousin. The two walk around each other in some kind of mating dance, whilst the human is loving this “connection” with the animal, the bird is only trying to get to its food thinking, get out of my fucking way human. (FYI: this actually happened!)

Secondly, there are The Anxious Avoiders (TAA) who get a heart attack every time they hear the flapping of a wing. Is it a pigeon? Is it closeby? Solicitously they scan the horizons for any signs of flying wildlife, knowing that the coast is never really clear. One pigeon can be the start of a bird uprising, you know?! Any second now, he will call his pigeon brothers and sisters, form a triangular shaped torpedo, attack you, and start pecking away your flesh.

Lastly there are those people who don’t give a fudge. I belong to the last category.


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