the pigeons they are us

New Yorkers, both queer and straight. This revelation will surely change how we look upon our little neighbors in the future.

Oh, you didn't know that half of pigeons live in single-sex marriages? Neither did they, actually. But according to Linda Olle, a science editor, lecturer and amateur ornithologist, that is, indeed, the poop.

"Some birds, like male and female ducks, look very different," says this New Yorker, who has written a book about her six-year relationship with a pigeon (more on that later). "But pigeons, maybe out of their strong survival instinct, became indistinguishable." Pete the Pigeon looks just like Penny.

And he acts like her, too.

"When they meet, they cannot distinguish whether it's a male or female with them, so they both act in the same sort of feminine way, very unaggressive," continues Olle.

While few have been observed actually shopping for antiques, they do like to groom each other and work out (well, fly, anyway). They also enjoy preparing meals together - although generally this involves chewing food and regurgitating it into each others' beaks.

When things really heat up, they go dancing. That's when one or the other puffs up and struts around. Then, if both birdies feel that special spark, they don't give a hoot whether it's Butch or Bessy they're heading home with. Unable to marry legally, they will nonetheless make a commitment and stick it out the rest of their lives.

If there's not a lesson here for us all, I'm not a columnist. Okay. Maybe I'm not quite sure what the lesson is. I guess it's, "Be like pigeons (except for the regurgitating part)." Or perhaps, "Straight or gay, make a commitment today!"

comment

Interesting that this article is on the Web. Who put it there? James? Also, it doesn't contain the name of the author, Lenore Skenazy. Please write back. Thanks.