Pigeons cop a lot of flak, most of which they deserve. They crap on everything. Stump legs are not uncommon. When all you want to do is eat your sandwich in peace, their push for crumbs is relentless. At least their bird call is cuter than a seagull’s, but in the wrong environment their presence can work as a beacon to the flying sea rats.
And yet, despite going unrecognised by the Guardian in its Bird of the Year poll, one pigeon in Parkdale deserves to be recognised as a gleaming example of rebellion, creativity, family values and love. All of this in the face of the bureaucratic-behemoth that is Public Transport Victoria doing its best to keep a little bird down.
The saga began sometime around October 2016 when Twitter user Michael Bell (@Xtrackka) posted a photo to twitter. Dubbed the Parkdale Pigeon by a community of Reddit users, the bird started out with nothing more than a meagre pile of twigs on top of a PTV LCD screen at Parkdale Station. A few days later the nest was removed, the sign sterilised and a set of spikes installed to deter future nesting.
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
Despite having its nest torn down several times, the actions of PTV did nothing to deter this winged rebel. Over the next few months the Parkdale Pigeon filled in the spikes with leaves and more twigs, creating a regal mound of greenery. It’s a no-brainer this 5-star nest eventually attracted a mate. The couple are now proud parents of chicks – may the brave parents instil in their children the same sense of honour in the face of adversity they have shown to the people of Melbourne.
Below are Michael Bell’s photographs of the Parkdale Pigeon’s inspiring journey. Don’t let the man get you down, follow your dreams etc. Anything is possible with sticks, guano and perseverance.
Thanks to Michael Bell/@Xtrackka.