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How do pigeons think? What’s going on in their little brains? It is a mystery that can induce controversy in the scientific realm, however, it is a mystery that we love to wonder about. Do pigeons think like us humans – with words? Or do they think with pictures of objects and memories? Like a movie reel across their mind?

How they think is a question I cannot answer, but what they think of? Well, I can answer that to some extent. There is no doubt in my mind what Elmo is thinking of when he walks across the room, hops onto the sofa and makes a beeline to the peanut jar. There is no hesitation, no pause – Elmo is thinking of peanuts and he’s going to get them. He knows where the peanuts are kept and nothing is stopping him from eating them.

It is actually quite remarkable to watch. One minute Elmo is on the floor exploring the flat when suddenly his head will shoot up, he’ll freeze for a moment, and then he’ll turn towards the sofa and head that way. Peanuts have entered his mind.

Georgie is a little harder to read, however, I can usually tell when she wants a drink. Her body language and movements tip me off, and I know Georgie is thinking of a nice cool drink of water.

Sometimes I wonder what Georgie and Elmo are thinking of when they drift off to sleep on our laps. They look so content and serene – all puffed up in their relaxed way. Are they thinking of how wonderful it is to be safe and warm with their loved ones? Are the images of the day playing through their mind – the best bits making them smile? – I like to think so.

I hope they have many good memories to think about – and there will hopefully be many more to come.


Georgie having a nap.


"All mine," thinks Elmo.


"Mmm, peanuts!"