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I have to have a little quasi-rant now about how feral pigeons are portrayed in sitcoms and cartoons. Three come to mind:

  • Frasier – Season 11, Episode 12 – “Frasier-Lite”
  • The Simpsons – Season 22, Episode 7 – “How Munched is That Birdie in the Window”
  • Outnumbered – Season 3, Episode 4 – “The Pigeon”


My rant will reveal what happens in the above episodes.

First off, why do writers feel the need to continue the ignorant and untrue potrayal of pigeons as “flying rats”? It’s starting to get really old. Seriously writers. Do your research!

In each of the above episodes the characters refer to the pigeon as being “diseased”, “unclean”or “flying rats”. (On the plus side, though, the characters try to help the bird.)

Secondly, why do the writers feel the need to kill the pigeons?

In each of the above episodes the pigeon dies. Is it funny? No. Is it necessary? I don’t think so. But I guess the writers thought that the story couldn’t develop or wasn’t interesting enough unless they kill the pigeon off.

Is it too much to ask to see a feral pigeon in a sitcom or cartoon (or movie!) being rescued, cared for and then released?! What’s wrong with that story line? Is that boring?

Every time I see a feral pigeon in a programme I think, “Oh no, what are they going to do with that pigeon?” I know that it won’t have a good outcome, but I still hold out the hope that it will. Maybe one day attitudes will change and we will see some nice story lines about pigeons.