Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pigeon Skeleton

I found over a dozen of these well preserved pigeon skeletons in the downy insulation of an old CPR rail station. There were adults, juveniles and even a calcified unhatched egg up there in the attic. While I was very happy to have stumbled upon this trove of Things That Will Make Me More Attractive To Women (TTWMMMATW), the skeletons brought up some questions. Why did all these pigeons in various stages of their development die here in peaceful poses? What contributed to their remarkable preservation? Why does it all make me so sad?
Well, I didn't get all CSI about it, but I did ponder a bit. I think it's likely that this group of pigeons fell victim to parasites. Predators seem to be out of the question, as none of the skeletons were ripped apart. There are a number of mites that prey on birds, for example, and while I think healthy adults can withstand external parasites pretty well, juveniles often don't make it out of the nest if there are too many blood-suckers growing fat on them. As for the preservation (often the ligaments are still attached) it might be attributed to the even temperature and dryness up in the attic. And the sadness was just an Internet pose of mine. I have never felt sad about these pigeons.
So: Pigeons have died, I am not sad about it, I don't know why they died and I don't know how many pigeon ambitions died with them. But I am glad that I own more pigeon skeletons than my Dad did at my age.

1 comment:

  1. wow. pigeon skulls look just as much like plague masks as living pigeon heads do. (i.e., a lot.)