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Discussion Starter #1
I havn't always went out of my way to rescue and treat pigeons. Nor did I ever imagine I would be putting out about 30 - 40 lbs of seed a week for a flock where I live. But, a few years back, I began to notice the cruelty and hatred most people have for pigeons. So, in an effort to balance the scales, I became their alli.
Unfortunately, most people don't know any history about pigeons. If they did, they might understand why pigeons hang around humans, our homes, restaurants etc. I would love to ram this story down the throats of American pigeon haters.
On October 3, 1918, Charles Whittlesey and more than 500 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of the hill behind enemy lines without food or ammunition. They were also beginning to receive friendly fire from allied troops who did not know their location. Surrounded by the Germans, many were killed and wounded in the first day and by the second day, only a little more than 200 men were still alive. Whittlesey dispatched messages by pigeon. The pigeon carrying the first message ("Many wounded. We cannot evacuate.") was shot down. A second bird was sent with the message, "Men are suffering. Can support be sent?" That pigeon also was shot down. Only one homing pigeon was left: 'Cher Ami'. He was dispatched with a note in a canister on his left leg:
"We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven's sake, stop it!"

As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw him rising out of the brush and opened fire and for several minutes, bullets zipped through the air all around him. The men of the Lost Battalion saw Cher Ami tragically shot down, but miraculously, he was airborne again soon. He managed to arrive back at his loft at division headquarters 25 miles to the rear in just 25 minutes, helping to save the lives of the 194 survivors. In this last mission, Cher Ami had delivered the message despite having been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and with a leg hanging only by a tendon.
Cher Ami had become the hero of the 77th Infantry Division, so army medics worked long and hard to save his life. They were unable to save his leg, so they carved a small wooden one for him. When he recovered enough to travel, the little one-legged hero was put on a boat to the United States, with General John J. Pershing personally seeing Cher Ami off as he departed France. Cher Ami was awarded the Silver Star.
Now, I ask you, what has a Bald Eagle ever done for anybody?

Macdf2
 

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Little surprised

I thought more people would comment on this topic seeing how pigeons are classified as a pest and therefor can be exterminated legally. I find the pigeon predicament really disturbing. Especially since it is man who domesticated all these birds then abandoned them after the telephone was invented. Its mankinds fault all these pigeons still prefer to live as close to humans as possible.
 

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Cher Ami was a great bird, and is a good story to tell when trying to win the hearts of pigeon haters. I really don't like it when people here in the US complain about ferals. It's our fault they are here, not theirs. They aren't native here. And we just happened to build the perfect urban "rock cliffs" for them to live on! ;)
 

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I also am a little suprised, the people on this site usually make some coments about our little hero of war.
the bald eagle is more of a flying rat than a pigeon is. If you see them by the river they will steel other birds food, or you may see them having a meal of road kill. They are allmost as much of a scavenger as a valture.
Now if you could make a pigeon look as majestic as an eagle in the eye of the public maybe they would not be rats with wings.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #5
American Pigeon

Thanks for comments guys. Yeah, very good point re majestic. But you know Ive noticed something about pigeons that I never noticed before I started to help them a few years ago. When you look at a pigeon, dove, rabit, deer etc in the eyes, you can tell they arent predatory animals. They have an innocense in their eyes that is not just my imagination. Its precisely that Bambi look in a pigeons eyes that led me to want to help that first one..
 
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