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T o let my son chase pigeons

(377 Posts)
mrsruffallo Fri 02-Oct-09 14:19:55

DS loves chasing flocks of pigeons. Every time we go to the park he and his friends scream with delight as they fly away.
Woman in the park today got very angry and told me that 'pigeons have feelings too' and that IT WAS CRUEL.
Funnily enough there was something along similar lines on CBeebies the other day.
AIBU to think it's just a bit of fun?

claw3 Mon 05-Oct-09 13:21:55

Oh yes lets discuss 'Am i being unreasonable to let my son pick up snails'

PoppyIsApain Mon 05-Oct-09 13:10:03

pmsl, is this still discussion of the day 3 days later hmm

I do not believe that an inner-city pigeon is traumatised by the approach of a small child. Because if it were, it would also be traumatised by the approach of commuters, shoppers, cars, buses, taxis, bicycles, people out for a stroll, dogs and cats. And then it would live its entire life in a complete state of gibbering terror, because it chooses to live in the middle of a city that is full of small children, commuters, shoppers, cars, buses, taxis, bicycles, people out for a stroll, dogs and cats and where one or more of these is constantly coming within a few feet. Also because if it were traumatised and terrified it would probably do more than flap off a couple of feet in a half-hearted manner.

I wouldn't encourage DCs to chase them, mind, but I don't believe they are traumatised.

wigglepants Mon 05-Oct-09 11:31:18

My DS also does this. I allow it in wide open spaces, but not where there is a crowd of people for the pigeons to fly into. I must admit I never considered that pidgeons had feelings. hmm

OtterInaSkoda Mon 05-Oct-09 11:23:27

fatslag You forgot
c) Don't mess with your elderly neighbours wink

MavisEnderby Mon 05-Oct-09 11:11:37

I can't believe this thread has so many posts.Pigeons fly away at lots of things,a loud noise or whatever.

I sometimes chase pigeons with dd in her wheelchair,it makes her laugh.She loves birds and has recently got theability to throw bread at the ducks and giggles when the ducks/geese/pigeons surround her.

As others have said if I were pinning a pigeon down and torturing it then that is a no no,but chasing them harmlessly?

Poor little bugger has enogh going on in her life sad to deprive her of a few laughs.If it makes her giggle so be it.They can FLY AWAY.

smee Mon 05-Oct-09 11:03:57

Still haven't read all Jamie. Will save for a coffee break distraction later... grin
But who says the pigeons are scared onceinablue..? They don't look v.terrified to me - flap off then land a bit futher away a bit miffed perhaps is how I'd describe their expression - but then again I'm no Attenborough..

onceinabluemoon Mon 05-Oct-09 07:48:11

Its about as unreasonable as a gang of teenagers chasing a toddler with the intention of making it run away in fear...

I guess that depends then on your stance on birds in general and toddlers, both blinking annoying at times but neither deserves to be scared witless for somebody else's pleasure IMHO.

Monkeytrews Sun 04-Oct-09 22:24:17


Someone get me out of here

fatslag Sun 04-Oct-09 22:12:28

We have pigeons nesting on top of our apartment block. They wake up insanely early and start cooing. My neighbour, 86 years old, who has the nest outside his kitchen window complained to the residents' association but received no reply. So he started lobbing firecrackers at them.

They are still in residence (the pigeons and the ageing neighbours).

Should I tell my kids:

a) don't mess with explosives or
b) be nice to pigeons?

Moral dilemma...

Thank you to all the posters for the last 1 1/2 hours I've spent reading this and crying with laughter.

jamsandwich Sun 04-Oct-09 21:46:29

We had a slight variant on OP's experience. DD (4) was squawking with delight as she chased pigeons in town square and returned to my side shortly later, chastened, having been told to "go away" apparently by old lady sitting at other side from us. Turned out old lady was dishing out handfuls of breadcrumbs to the little critters and DD had clearly interrupted her fun.

So, ethically, which is worse? Feeding birds (commonly viewed as vermin) in a public place, thus increasing risk of disease (psittacosis is it?!) or being 4, wearing fairy wings and running with joy to disperse said flock of vermin?

RustyBear Sun 04-Oct-09 21:31:22

Maybe you should have tried my brother's method & sprayed the nest with liquid nitrogen - apparently wasps arriving home froze as they flew and cracked in half.

My grandfather used a breadknife - I came downstairs one morning & saw him get one on the wing - sliced clean in two, after which he went on cutting bread.
I did not have toast that morning....

ElectricElephant Sun 04-Oct-09 21:26:40

YABU - I was in the town centre when a little boy was chasing pigeons round the square. Parents ignoring it.

I suppose it's cruel, but pigeons are vermin as far as I'm concerned.

I object to the resulting rain of pigeon shit over everybody in the square!

whomovedmychocolate Sun 04-Oct-09 21:04:14

Indeed - I did a good one this weekend (not sure I should be admitting this actually because you will remember it for ever but....)

....we have a wasp problem at the minute - new thatch and they like to make nests in the eaves. So after Rentokil did their thing and the little buggers came back I went to the DIY store and got some nest destroyer foam so any new nests that popped up got blasted.

You have to do this at dusk or early morning - for us early morning is best - the monsters are up by seven and it's still quite dark but at night they are obviously in their rooms so you can't risk a swarm upstairs. So five this morning DS was up (he's sick) so I said 'I'll go blitz those wasps', donned my hard hat (no I have no idea why either, I was knackered), grabbed the spray and sprayed right the way along the eaves.

It's a foaming spray and boy did it foam. So I went back into the house and proudly told DH to stay downstairs for an hour while the wasps died.

A few hours later he came in and said 'umm where's my shaving foam'.

Yep. I did. Very. Clean. Wasps. Quite cross. But with no chaffing hmm

RustyBear Sun 04-Oct-09 20:58:27

Whereas for rats, I seem to remember you found a large slab of oak to be very effective...

whomovedmychocolate Sun 04-Oct-09 20:39:37

I only ever chase squirrels with a spade or a rifle in my hands grin

mrsruffallo Sun 04-Oct-09 20:36:20

What about chasing squirrels then> Is that better? <hides>

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 04-Oct-09 20:33:02

Rusty Veery interesting

<strokes beard>

whomovedmychocolate Sun 04-Oct-09 20:31:14

Incontinent, annoying, make a mess everywhere, yes I would agree three year olds and pigeons are not that far apart grin

glucose Sun 04-Oct-09 20:30:53

its wrong to scare it! PMSL
these are pigeons

RustyBear Sun 04-Oct-09 20:29:22

Well, according to this there is debate as to which is more intelligent - the chaser or the chasee....

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 04-Oct-09 20:23:23

I think it has been quite an interesting debate.

It hasn't divided along normal lines. I'm sure some of my best friends (otherwise decent people grin), think it's perfectly acceptable to let their DCs chase pigeons, whereas I find myself coming out surprisingly strongly against.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 04-Oct-09 20:19:57

I'm just going to keep this going now because I'm enjoying it so much. Sorry! grin

Jamieandhismagictorch Sun 04-Oct-09 20:08:27

smee G'wan - read the 14 pages. It's full off humour. pathos, scientific theory, smugness and sanctimosity, and pure, pure bullshit.

Classic MN grin

smee Sun 04-Oct-09 20:06:16

I'm with hifi. Pure daftness. Can't be faffed to read 14 pages, but has anyone noted how if pigeons don't like it, they could easily fly up a tree. They usually just land a bit further away, then flap off again if it continues. I'm not saying they enjoy it, but they're hardly defenceless or traumatised now are they..

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