Spencer Platt/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Spencer Platt/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
By Drew Villano

“Ew, don’t touch that dirty pigeon!” – Every stupid, selfish dick with no regard for living (and suffering) creatures.

If you see a sick or injured pigeon, don’t just leave it there like a jerk. Would you leave a hurt little kid on the side of the road? Probably. But you shouldn’t. Grab a plastic bag, some gloves, or paper towels to wrap around it (the pigeon, not the kid). If you’re that paranoid about getting some nonexistent illness from handling a bird, immediately washing your hands afterwards.

Wrap the bird with your hands/cloth/bag from the top of its back and around its body on either side. Do not cover its head. Press the legs flat against its belly so that they’re parallel with the tail. This is the proper way to hold a bird and will prevent it from flapping around and possibly injuring itself further. Unless the legs are broken, this position will not hurt the bird.

Put it in a cardboard box with some holes in it and lay down any type of bird seed or food crumbs (chocolate and candy do not count as food). Pigeons will literally eat garbage. Do not feed the bird garbage. Cat food works excellently as bird food, and wet cat food is especially suitable for young birds as it is nutritionally similar to what their parents would otherwise be feeding them.

If you don’t have the time or patience to deal with this type of bullshit, have a roommate who is irrationally scared shitless of birds, or just don’t want a filthy-ass pigeon making creepy scratching noises in its cardboard box while you’re trying to sleep, you can email me and I will relieve you of the bird.

Growing up, my father owned pigeon coops. Though I hate most people, I have a relentless and passionate love for all other animals and have rehabilitated many a bird. As a kid, my dad would often get pissed that I was “ruining the gene pool” of his purebred birds by rescuing what pigeon enthusiasts term “rats,” or street birds.

Some make it, some fall over in the middle of the night dead from some illness. Some grow up in my house and fly around wearing a bird diaper (yes, that’s a real thing), fashioned to look like a Santa suit. They sit on my head, demanding to be pet, until they eventually start laying eggs everywhere and have to be released into the world to reach their full potential as a beautiful, free, totally fucking awesome bird.

Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Drew Villano

Image courtesy of New York Natives, Photographer: Drew Villano

And yes, I will come to you (or the bird, if you don’t want to pick it up yourself — just tell me where it is).

drewvillano@gmail.com

Tip: If you plan on trying to rehabilitate the bird yourself, do not feed the bird a bread-only diet. Bread has no nutritional value for birds and it will starve to death thanks to your ignorance.

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