Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Birds of London or flying rats?

As the sturdy beast eyes the prize, he knows he has to act quickly. The competition is fierce and he has to want it more than anyone else.

With a definitive swoop, he reaches the piece of food in record time. Victory is his.

This is the daily grind for the thousands of pigeons that call London home. Even though some see this breed as a nuisance, they are inseparably connected to the city.

They both delight and frighten tourists who are exploring the city. Some enjoy giving the animals a chip or two and watch as they completely devour the food.

Others are caught off guard as the birds suddenly fly recklessly towards their heads. A sudden low-flying flock will surprise even the most nonchalant Londoner.

Soaring high

These unpredictable creatures are most famously found at Trafalgar Square and along the South Bank. It’s not uncommon to see hundreds or even thousands swarming around a few morsels of food. While they do surprise unaware visitors, the birds rarely do much damage to humans.

Nelson’s Column, however, is a different story. Pigeons cost London £140,000 to clean up the column. A few years ago, there was even a proposal to get rid of the Trafalgar Square birds altogether, which did not go ahead.

The iconic feral friends remain a staple of the London landscape. As long as fascinated visitors or careless eaters leave food behind, the pigeons are likely to stay for a long time.

 

Words and images by Wendy Anstead

Visit the birds: The South Bank, London SE1. Nearest stations: Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines)
www.southbanklondon.com
Trafalgar Square, London WC2. Nearest station: Charing Cross (British Rail, Bakerloo and Northern lines)
www.london.gov.uk/priorities/art-culture/trafalgar-square

More articles by the author:

St Paul's in perspective

Running on Primrose Hill

Camden's passion for food

Bookmark and Share

 

  • sight
  • sight
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Zerg unit
  • Terran unit
  • Terran unit
  • Terran unit
  • Terran unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit
  • Protoss unit