Pledge of Allegiance -

Cher Ami was a homing pigeon owned and flown by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I. He helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918. In his last mission, he delivered a message despite having been shot through the breast, being blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and having a leg hanging only by a tendon. The bird was awarded the Croix de Guerre for heroic service delivering 12 important messages in Verdun, France.

The New York Bird Club requests that June 13 be declared as National Pigeon Day so that pigeons can be properly recognized as heroes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

National Pigeon Day 2010

Due to the Puerto Rican Day Parade which will take place on June 13 (the official National Pigeon Day), the Parks Department is not issuing any permits in Central Park; therefore,the National Pigeon Day event will take place on Saturday, June 19th from 10 am to 3 pm on Pilgrim Hill in Central Park. You can enter the park on Fifth Avenue and E. 72nd Street and Pilgrim Hill is a few minutes walk.

Participants are the following:

Stuart Chaifetz, an investigator for SHARK
will speak about legislation that is pending in Pennsylvania that will end pigeon shoots in that state.

Pigeon shoots are competitions wherein hundreds to thousands of live birds are shot at to win prizes. A typical 3-day shoot contest can kill and injure up to 15,000 birds.

The pigeons are captured and collected for weeks ahead of time, then released from trap boxes only yards away from the so-called "sportsmen". The birds are generally dazed and suffering from dehydration or starvation as they are sprung out of the boxes.

Rather than mercifully being given a quick death, 70% of the birds are injured when shot and either left to suffer slow deaths or collected and killed by pigeon shoot "trapper boys" or "wringers", traditionally children, who break their necks, step on them, tear off wings, suffocate them, or cut off their heads with garden shears, among other abuses.

Pigeon shoots are nothing more than a vile excuse for entertainment for the dull-witted or psychopathic. Illegal in other countries and in all but a couple of American states, most people realize the despicable nature of these bird-killing contests.

Anne Muller, president of Wildlife Watch, an organization that operates a national hotline for those who find injured or orphaned wild animals.
The presentation will include calls that Wildlife Watch receives from people who find exhausted "racing" pigeons who simply drop down from the sky and would die but for the help of those who find and rescue them, and those who rehabilitate them. Anne will be talking about government wildlife agencies and what needs to be done to give pigeons protection. Wildlife Watch publishes exposes of the mismanagement of wildlife by government wildlife agencies.

The following quote is straight from the current NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website:

The few unprotected species include porcupine, red squirrel, woodchuck, English sparrow, starling, rock pigeon, and monk parakeet. Unprotected species may be taken at any time without limit. A hunting license is required to hunt unprotected wildlife with a bow or firearm.

However the NYS Environmental Conservation Law deems pigeons “unprotected wildlife”, what does this term of art mean? Does it mean that pigeons are exempt from animal cruelty laws or does it have a very limited application?

Lori Barrett, Esq, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, attorney, and member of the New York City Bar Committee on Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals, will explain that there are several laws that indeed do protect pigeons from cruelty in New York State, and she will discuss how animal advocates can use these very laws to protect pigeons, and correct the popular misconception that pigeons are not protected by laws.

Ellen Kalish, president and founder of Ravensbeard, a prime wildlife rehabiliation center and sanctuary near Woodstock, NY
will talk about pigeons from a wildlife rehabilitator's perspective. She will share her experience caring for exhausted "racing" pigeons, and pigeons who've been afflicted with other injuries or illness.

Peter Muller, the chair of the League of Humane Voters-NY.
Peter is the chief lobbyist for LOHV in NYS and heads the lobbying action in Washington DC as part of AR2010. Peter will talk about the importance of political involvement to help pigeons. He will talk about current bills pending in the NYS Legislature that will help pigeons and other unprotected wildlife and will talk about possible new laws to expand on those protections and offer new ones to the noble pigeon.

Steven Bennett of Cambridge, Ohio, will be discussing the legendary history of the passenger pigeon. In a very positive and uplifting light, he will give a presentation that covers the bird’s routines in migration, diet, nesting, territory, habitat, and the amazing size of the flocks. Flocks that came as endless hurricanes. Once numbering in the billions, man’s destruction of the passenger pigeons brought down this army of feathers to a single bird ~ Martha ~ and in 1914, ultimate extinction. Mr. Bennett reveals how even today, we all share a connection with the passenger pigeon.

and others as follow....
Scott Massarsky (National Pigeon Day Anthem), Pet Rox Music.

Please check back for updates.


  1. If only I were in NYC--I would be SO there! I love pigeons!

  2. Great bit of info up at the top of the blog. Most people forget about the importance these birds played in the War. Using birds to deliver vital messages might seem like something out of a fairy tale for most people growing up today with all the technology around us.

  3. I've got pet pigeons and it saddens me to see their relatives treated so badly.
    I'd love to hear the talks on the 19th, but I'm too far away. I hope someone collates and publishes them.

  4. I wish australia had a national pigeon day!! I want to go

  5. Please be there,these beautiful birds need all the help they can get. Not only do they face starvation, they are also the targets of angry and maladaptive people looking for weak preys!