Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Letters to Mayor Bloomberg...National Pigeon Day in New York

The following are emails send to Mayor Bloomberg, copied to the New York Bird Club. Please keep the letters coming.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I would like you to be aware that NY pigeons have friends and admirers as far away as Calgary, AB, Canada.

I encourage you to make June 13th officially National Pigeon Day. As one of the world's great cities, your actions ring loud and clear across the world, and the message you send will be one of respect and consideration for another species of earthlings.

I look forward to hearing of your proclamation.

Jonathan Martin
Calgary, Canada

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

I and my family are requesting that you officially designate to make it official and declare June 13th as National Pigeon Day in New York City.

It will be a fitting and deserving tribute to this bird of service during World War 1Thank you for this appropriate designation.

Diane M. Kastel

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

Please declare June 13th as National Pigeon Day in New York City. We know you love the pigeons as much as we do. Thank you for your time and attention to this most important matter.

Patricia M. Nelson

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

As you know, Saturday, June 13th has been unoficially declared National Pigeon Day by the New York Bird Club.

June 13th is the day that Cher Ami, meaning "Dear Friend" in French departed the Earth. Pigeons have a noble history. As you will recall, Cher Ami served several months on the front lines during the Fall of 1918. He flew 12 important missions to deliver messages. Perhaps the most important was the message he carried on October 4, 1918. (reference:

Inasmuch as you have been paying tribute to this noble bird I ask that you now officially declare June 13th as National Pigeon Day in New York City. To impress you further on the attributes of this heroic creature, I cite the following: Cher Ami, a heroic pigeon who, against all odds, helped rescue a lost battalion of soldiers and left an unforgettable mark on American history. And in fact, Cher Ami was one of six hundred carrier pigeons used by the American Army during World War I. Pigeons are attractive, quiet, unobtrusive, have a calming, gentle voice, and are loyal, hardworking and devoted birds. And certainly worthy of our respect and admiration. They also serve the community well by cleaning our garbage away.

Homing pigeons are released at funerals, weddings and other significant ceremonies. Pigeons symbolize love, wonder and hope and the difficulties of life's journey. And you yourself have already paid tribute to pigeons by calling them "the often-overlooked winged heroes of conflicts past."

Therefore, please set this day aside for the pigeons once and for all. Thank you.

Richard W. Firth
Mechanicsville, Va. 23116

Hello Mayor Bloomberg,

My name is Anna Dove, and I am the founder of the New York Bird Club.

We have commemorated a day of recognition for the rock pigeon who, as you are aware, served mankind in times of unrest by delivering vital messages that saved many human lives in World War 1 and World War 11. Today many people still use them as messengers.

Pigeons are loyal and faithful birds deserving of respect. We feel they are remarkable birds that deserve a day of acknowledgement and recognition, and it is important that the legacy of the homing pigeons heroic war efforts be preserved and remembered.

With this in mind, the New York Bird Club has founded National Pigeon Day on June 13th. This is the day that Cher Ami passed away. Cher Ami was one of hundreds of homing pigeons used by American forces in France during World War I. And what better venue to hold National Pigeon Day than on Pilgrim Hill in New York's own beautiful Central Park.

The New York Bird Club would be delighted and honored if you would visit us on National Pigeon Day and say a few words on behalf of these loyal birds who served mankind so faithfully, and/or officially declare June 13th as National Pigeon Day in New York.

Please visit the National Pigeon Day blog @ which is regularly updated.

Anna Dove
New York Bird Club

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I was very pleased to learn that you have paid tribute to the pigeon war heros of the past. I have my father's diary from WW1 in which he mentions seeing soldiers in the trenches with cages filled with pigeons who valiantly risked their lives, often dying alone on the battlefield. They could easily have escaped the horrors of that most terrible of wars, but there is no record of it ever happening.

I hope that you will declare June 13th as National Pigeon Day in New York City, in appreciation of their many services throughout the ages to mankind.


Marie L.
Queens, NY 11372

Thanks for PIGEON DAY!!!

Dear Mayor,

Thank you for such a decent, nice, lovable gesture toward the New York pigeons. I used to feed them for a long time when I was living in Queens and working in Manhattan and I sincerely wish more New Yorkers would take a couple of minutes of their very busy schedules to watch, admire and feed those adorable birds.

Yours truly,
Elsa Rosa Latheef
New Jersey Resident

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

Please make June 13, 2009 National Pigeon Day, to honor the hundreds of pigeons that played an important part in our history during World War I.

Alvin Wong
Pearl City, Hawaii

Friday, March 6, 2009

NYC Mayor Bloomberg pays homage to pigeons

Please click here to see a copy of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's letter to Al Croseri, director of "The Flight". "The Flight" is an homage to the bravery of homing pigeons who saved thousands of lives in combat in the Great World Wars. Their achievements embodied the attributes of service, endurance, loyalty and supreme courage. Here, their memory is evoked by two present-day homing pigeons silently taking flight from the windows of a New York City apartment. The film dissolves to a forgotten past as we relive their ancestors' selfless heroism.

It is important that the legacy of the homing pigeons heroic war efforts be preserved and remembered.

"The Flight--a lovely tribute to the often-overlooked winged heroes of conflicts past."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cruel Pigeon Control in Toronto

On Sunday, Stilleposters were in a flap over what was perceived to be a cruel method of deterring pigeons being used at the TD Bank at Dundas and Ossington. Lara Williston posted photos of the location's fa├žade, which appeared to have some pigeons' feathers stuck to it, followed by photos of a pigeon sitting on the sidewalk with its underside covered in some kind of thick, sticky substance. Williston explained what she had witnessed prior to snapping the photos:

The feathers that you see on the right side of the pillar are stuck in some of the glue and were ripped out a bird's wing that was dangling from the ledge. The pigeon that you see in the picture had fallen from the ledge and was glued to the front steps leading up to the door. He couldn't move his wings or walk because he was covered in this substance. I don't know if TD is specifically responsible or if it is the landlord of the building, but I suspect it is both, and either way it is an unacceptable and inhumane way of treating any animal, regardless of whether or not it is viewed as a pest.

The disturbing images prompted a generally negative reaction from Stilleposters, some of who wrote that they had placed calls to Animal Services, the Ministry of the Environment, City Hall, and the SPCA (apparently an agent was dispatched, though from what organization was not specified). Then, on Tuesday around noon, a new poster named mcram appeared on the boards, claiming to be a TD employee and offering this explanation:

Hello, I’m Matthew Cram from TD. On Sunday, a contractor we hired was installing a non-harmful pigeon deterrent (a device that dissuades pigeons from landing on our sign and making unsolicited “deposits” on customers). There was some extra adhesive from the installation of the device and unfortunately one pigeon did get stuck and died. The contractor came back yesterday to check the installation and remove any extra adhesive and we’re confident it’s now safe. This was a complete accident and we’re really sorry it happened. TD has been supporting wildlife and the environment for nearly 20 years through our TD Friends of the Environment Foundation ( and this includes pigeons too!

There was some suspicion as to whether Cram was legit, but as his TD email address and this link prove, he indeed works in communications for the company. Over the phone, he explained that the pest control company Abell was hired to install metal spikes along the building to prevent pigeons from landing and thus making "deposits" on customers. Abell's installation job was sloppy, too much adhesive was used, and as a result a pigeon got stuck. "We talked to them, and they assured us this wouldn't happen again," Cram says. "As soon as I saw the thread, I thought, 'No, this can't be right.'" His story checked out: Torontoist dropped by the Dundas & Ossington branch yesterday and saw "porcupine wire" installed along the tops of signage and other popular pigeon-resting spots. Abell employees were at work, and there were no glue traps (or dead or injured pigeons) to be seen.

Cram's handling of the sticky situation seemed to satisfy Stillepost readers, and some commented that it was a good move on the part of TD to openly address the issue, especially on a message board. Though he's not too familiar with Stillepost (he was alerted to the pigeon thread by a bank employee), Cram notes that this sort of response speaks to the "new reality of news." "I read a lot of things, like Facebook, Twitter, and various blogs and websites. We like to know what people are saying about us, and it's interesting how we find out about a lot of things."

Could this be the future: corporate spokespeople like Cram responding to online criticism (even slightly misguided cries of "bird torture") in a timely and sensitive fashion? And to think, all it took to bring together indie-rock message board enthusiasts and a big soulless banking corporation was concern for flying rats.

See full article here.

All photos by Lara Williston.