Is a disease afoot that causes pigeons to sit on the sidewalk when flying away is clearly the right act? Last night at Four in the morning, I had to drive around a pigeon standing on pavement at Second and Stocking in Grand Rapids. My passenger, who announced himself as an ornithologist, stepped out to catch the bird. Despite the his stealth, the bird fluttered off in an awkward flight. Today, near the Hackley Bank Tower in Muskegon, a pigeon on the sidewalk just looked at me as I walked past, turning to follow my progress. I gave the pigeon three feet and even stepped onto Western to give the bird space. I have no idea who was that self-proclaimed ornithologist. He studied undergrad at Albion, had a first name with an African spelling and dined with his doctor at Grand Coney. He wished me peace and shook my hand about four times. He didn't return to the car after attempting to rescue the pigeon. He walked the last mile to his home. At least no drunk cruising up Stocking will make road kill squab of it, thanks to him. He would puzzle on the issue of the docile pigeon with me if we talked again.
Maybe these are overfed pigeons? Last night near Tres Cuigini, an Italian restaurant of immaculate reputation, possibly the owner tossed bits of bread to pigeons as night arrived, bits he pulled off a scrap, the end of a loaf. Maybe I should carry stale bread, a loaf awaiting in my fridge one month old. It has dried but has yet to mold, an achievement for supermarket bread.
A pigeon has flown off in strong flight toward the Cheese Lady building.