A brief article in the UK’s Sun newspaper says officials in Minneapolis may blame the recent bridge tragedy on accumulated pigeon poo. Nothing about the article seems to be kidding. And yet.
Their thesis is logically sound: pigeons, like all birds, excrete uric acid that theoretically could eat away at steel given enough time and, er, volume.
And pigeons – properly known as “rock pigeons” to birders, were originally cliff-nesters and like nothing so much for a perch as a narrow place above a precipitous drop. Bridges are lovely for this.
But let’s be honest. For anyone to mention this with a straight face, they’d better be able to point to at least one other known instance of Pigeon Doo Corrosivity Syndrome. Bridges and pigeons have been together for a long time, after all. Not to mention a swiss-cheese effect should have become evident on urban car roofs by now.
***This post is part of an anti-pigeon-defamation initiative on the part of the Scribbler. He has become aware that many people do not enjoy pigeons quite as much as they could if they approached the topic with an open mind. In fact, it might be said that some people resent them. Strongly.
But the pigeon is a noble creature, no less worthy of our appreciation just because of its pudgy body and walnut-sized head. The birds are all muscle. In a level race, they can outfly the speed racer of birds, the peregrine falcon. They are more considerate than your typical housecat, livelier than a goldfish, and cleverer than many a chihuahua or miniature terrier.