Those who live around pigeons understand their behavior pretty well. Those who vacation to places with pigeons and are unfamiliar with their conduct may find themselves soon attacked by a swarm of pigeons. If you’ve unwittingly managed to entice only a few pigeons to swoop down on you in an aggressive manner, chances are you’re only seconds away from being attacked by a large pack of pigeons.
What to do?
Don’t feed the pigeons. You’ll see the signs just about anywhere pigeons congregate and there’s a very good reason why these signs exist.
Pigeons hang out in places that tend to have a high frequency of food scraps – beaches and parks rank high. They prefer starchy items – breads, seeds and popcorn are favorites.
It’s these favorite foods that usually create a swarm. A pigeon that’s lucky enough to land a favorite usually gets overly-excited and this alerts the other pigeons. Before you know it – you’re dodging bird poop and getting strands of hair pulled out while running away.
But run you should – run like hell. Pigeons are unrelenting – like wolves. Once the pack behavior starts, expect to see a slew of pigeons in seconds.
While running away, ditch the food or hide it well. Pull your shirt over your head with one arm and use your other arm to keep waving above your head. This is typically enough to ward off a pigeon swarm.
If you happen to have a flame-thrower on you, now would be a good time to use it.
Exposed hands are arms are not usually a problem. Pigeons rarely ever peck hard enough to break skin. Your biggest concern should be pigeon poop. While it might be pretty funny to see a friend get a face shot from a swooping pigeon, pigeons are nasty, foul birds that do their disease transferring by way of defecation.
One swoop can lead to a lot of poop.
The three illnesses most commonly associated with pigeon poop are histoplasmosis, psittacosis and cryptococcosis. All three attack the respiratory system and can be a contributing cause to developing the flu.
If you’re nailed with pigeon poop, wash the affected area with soapy water immediately – and do so for several minutes. Be mindful of flu-like symptoms for the couple weeks following.
Fighting off a few pigeons certainly isn’t as dangerous or manly as fighting a tiger, but since they can make you pretty ill, it’s good to know how to escape a pigeon attack.