Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Pigeon Fowl Play in New York

Fowl play: Sicko paints pigeon purple in Queens


Updated Friday, August 15th 2008, 4:49 PM

A pigeon that was painted purple was discovered in a Queens park.
We heard it through the grapevine - Queens has a purple pigeon.

Theroyal-hued bird wasn't born that way, though. Someone with a sick sense of humor - or a problem with pigeons - painted him purple.

"Itwas terrible," said Joe Mora, an animal lover who rescued the birdThursday from a Long Island City playground, where onlookers weregawking at the oddly-colored columbine.

"It looks like this was done could have been blinded," Mora said.

Hetried coaxing the lethargic bird to eat while asking anyone andeveryone for advice on how to clean paint from its feathers and beak.

Friday,city Animal Care and Control officials transferred the pigeon to BobbyHorvath, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Nassau County who hasextensive experience caring for injured birds.

The young pigeon, about three or four months old, might not survive the prank - if it was one, Horvath said.

"I have never seen anything like it," said Horvath, who is also a New York City firefighter.

"He's flightless at this point. His feathers are completely rigid," he said.

"His beak and mouth and eyes are clear of paint," Horvath said. "That's a positive thing."

Horvath said the bird has a better chance if the paint hasn't seeped through into his skin.

Morasaid he hopes someone in the neighborhood will come forward withinformation about the bird. He said he has heard stories about a man onnearby Roosevelt Island who dyed his dog's fur purple.

"If this was intentionally done to the bird, it certainly is animal cruelty," said ASPCA Assistant Director Joseph Pentangelo.

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