Pigeons, seagulls...

I have nothing against pigeons. There are supposed to be some 80.000 living in Paris. Until some 100 years ago you found them only in specific dove-cots, and they were basically used as carrier pigeons, but today they have a completely free life and are clearly increasing in number. You are not supposed to feed them, but some people do ... and this leads to some local very high concentration, in this case just in front of Notre Dame. Of course, during winter, they must be struggling for food. (The Paris Township offers some dove-cuts where they can live comfortably, but they are then also offered food which is supposed to make them sterile.)

I haven’t found any indications of how many seagulls we can find in Paris, but here also the number is clearly increasing. To a large extent it’s however a seasonal issue; they are mostly here during the winter months, leaving the coastlines, following the Seine. Many have obviously travelled from far. They seemed not to be interested in the pigeon food, sitting in the background, calmly watching the tumult.


Simony said...

Peter, I was impressed with the amount of birds in one local only!
My God! What happens if they all decide to poop on someone's head at once? ha ha ha...
The pictures are very, very beautiful!
PS: Do you have pictures of parks in Paris?

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Wow! Thats a huge lot!

Good pictures!

Thérèse said...

I am glad you did not choose to post as many pictures as you usually do on one single subject! Seagulls are nicer but for how long?

Catherine said...

I love your pictures - wonderful..but i do have a lot against pigeons...in London we call them skyrats - and i was so pleased when they were finally forced out of Trafalgar Sq!!

SusuPetal said...

Too many birds!
In Helsinki the seagulls are a nuisance in the market squares. Birds are so cocky that they try to grab the food from people's hands if people eat outside. You have to hold on your bun with both hands to keep it safe.

Olivier said...

voila un post pour me faire attraper des boutons ;)))) Je hais les Pigeons...mais la première photo pourrait être l'affiche d'un remake du film d'Hitchock

claude said...

Les mouettes ont bien le droit de venir visiter la capitale, non !
Elles cherchent peut-être pigeons à leurs pattes, va savoir !

Les Pigeons said...

"Donnez nous notre pain quotidien"

Les Mouettes said...

Nous attendons la cloche pour le second "service". Ite Missa Est.

Cergie said...

Magnifique instantané au dessus, Peter. Tu étais invisble ou déguisé en quignon de pain ? Je comprends que des personnes ne supportent pas les oiseaux et en soient phobiques.
CF Les oiseaux de Daphné du Maurier > le film d'Hitch Coq
Il y a aussi un roman de Patrick Süskind : "Le Pigeon"

Catherine said...

Que peut on en conclure ? Que le parisien a une vie de dingue, plongé dans le stress et l'anarchie de la ville, alors que les méridionaux savent se préserver une qualité de vie, et restent sagement en dehors de la mêlée, posément ?
Beau reportage animalier, aujourd'hui ! Dangereux de viser lors d'un lâcher de pigeons....

EMNM said...

I don´t know why but, in Madrid, so far from the sea, you can find the seagulls too!
It´s weird but beautiful

Adam said...

Those seagulls are black-headed gulls, and most of them have never seen the sea in their lives! It's true that you see them in cities mostly only in the winter, but the rest of the time they live around rubbish dumps or wastegrounds, and not by the seaside!

Louis la Vache said...

Pigeons = Flying Rats

Karin B (Looking for Ballast) said...

I'm thinking of the Hitchcock movie now, lol.

I had a bird jump up and perch on my knee once while in the Tuileries one afternoon, having a picnic in the park. He wanted a snack, apparently. It startled me at first, and I was a little grossed out (they are not very clean birds), but also was a bit fascinated with its boldness! It stayed on my leg long enough for a photo, lol.

Paul (my S.O.) feels that pigeons make a city a *real* city. To him, pigeons in a place means he is in a city big enough to be a true city, for in his mind, only big and amazing cities like Paris, New York and Rome have pigeons like this! It's a rather romantic view of flying rats, but I get it. ;-)

As long as they mind themselves then I don't mind them. I do not like feeling harassed by them, though, and don't really like the messes they can leave behind.

I'm very taken with the photos you have captured here, though!

(Yes, I am back from the south and I finally left a little reply to your comment on my blog! Hope you are doing well. :))

Anonymous said...

That is far more birds than ever comes to my humble abode, Peter. I do get maybe 20 birds at one time but not often. I could not handle the poo if that many arrived. I do like the sea gull type birds. I think they have more to offer than the pigeons.

Thanks for reminding me of this post. It is a significant step for you as the buildings you have posted don't fly. It must have been exciting to see these flocks rise up as one and move off.

hpy said...

Les pigeons reviennent chez nous aussi, comme toujours à cette époque de l'année. Ce ne sont pourtant pas des pigeons des villes, mais de beaux ramiers. On voit aussi des tourterelles et bien entendu des mouettes /goélands, ces derniers toute l'année. Trop de pigeons, surtout des villes, n'est pas très agréable, à mon humble avis. Je crois qu'Olivier est d'accord.

BLOGitse said...

I don't understand why adult people want to feed these birds? It happens in Finland too.
Birds survive without our help if they are used to live in the nature.
But we humans want to put our fingers everywhere...
Only way we can learn for a short moment are infectious diseases...would be much better to be wise beforehand. But no.
We are so selfish...

have a great week ahead! :)


Nathalie H.D. said...

Tu as capturé la foule façon "début des soldes" Peter ! :-)))

Un billet qui certainement va faire plaisir à notre ami Olivier qui aime tant les rats volants !

Cezar and Léia said...

Why it's so hard to me to understand the "core"of Le subjonctif présent ?!I think I will never use it to speak....anyway...

Hello my dear Peter!
Your pigeons also reminds me those old movies like Karin said in her comment.Great pictures.I like the sensation , feeling of life during la
promenant entre les pigeons, it's cool!
Thanks so much for your always kind comments.We enjoyed the last trip mainly because my daughter and I didn't have classes last week. :)
Have a great week there

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Peter, thanks for calling over to my blog again :-)

I have a lot against pigeons, I cannot stand the way they just fly around the street, always over my head... or seems like they are coming for me!!

cathyswatercolors said...

Hi Peter, Your photos are absolutely glorious! The birds in flight.... wow.

Anya said...

Amazing actionshots :-)
Unique so many flying birds ...

:: Karine :: said...

bonsoir peter

je voulais te remercier pour tes gentils mots chez moi :-)

ton site est une vraie mine d'or !!!

bisou bisou

Jeanie said...

I don't mind the pigeons, unless -- of course -- one happens to be underneath one at the wrong time! Such a lot, though! Reminds me of the Hitchcock movie "The Birds"!

Corine said...

I love your seagull photograph! I must bring bird food with me to Paris :) Question: Have you ever seen a baby pigeon? My husband and I would always search them out in NYC and never saw one....

Maya said...

That first shot looks like they are dive bombing you. Scary!

Starman said...

At first, I thought you were trying to re-create Alfred Hitchcock's movie. If I understood most of the comments, I am among the majority who very much dislike pigeons.

La Belette Rouge said...

I am one of the many who find pigeons to be less lovely than other birds. That said, you really captured some super model shots of the lowly pigeon. It just shoes that the photographer is even more important than the model.

Kate said...

I am not as magnanimous as you are about these birds. I agree with many of those who commented on the birds habits of hygiene. Flying rats, they are!

krystyna said...

Wonderful photos!!!
I agree with BLOGitse about feeding birds.

Take care!

Ruth said...

We just recently watched Hitchcock's "The Birds" again, and this feels like a still montage from it. :)

Parisbreakfasts said...


arabesque said...

hi peter! as much as some of them hated the whole coming-at-you birds! i love it! we don;t get that much here, if you do see one, it's one tiny minute creature, not as beautiful as the ones you've posted. ^0^

Deden said...

what a huge numbers of birds.. does somebody owned it? I like the little cute one on the last picture..

Mo said...

Too many. way too many. Maybe time to sell pigeon pie.

Alain said...

Ta première photo me fait penser aux films sur la 2° guerre mondiale...quand les avions japonais passent à l'attaque.

Trotter said...

You have nothing against pigeons? I have... and many good reasons for it... In particular against a certain one at the Jardin du Ranelagh... ;)

Virginia said...

Well between Louis' comment about flying rats and all the other references to Hitchcock's "Birds" I won't sleep a wink tonight. Not a fan of pigeons. That little white guy in the bottom photo is cute though. Not a pigeon I'd venture.

Jilly said...

That first photo is stunning. I seem to recall that the way of reducing pigeon numbers is for a city to put down bird seed that is laced with birth control substances. I believe this was done in London and elsewhere. Perhaps being a Catholic country this won't be allowed in France!

White Rabbit said...

God...That's a helluva lot of pigeons!

PeterParis said...

Simony Silva:
A good question! (Nothing happened to me.) Yes, you can find posts about a lot of parks, just check on the "labels" in the sidebar. :-)

V Rakesh:
Indeed! :-)

Yes, I know, short is often better! :-)

PeterParis said...

Too much may be too much (I remember a central place at La Paz), but in modest quentities I like them quite well. :-)

There are not so many days when you can sit outside! (Sorry!) :-)

Je m'attendais ces mots de ta part! :-)

PeterParis said...


Les Pigeons:
Il semble que vous êtes bien nourris! :-)

Les Mouettes:
Bien élevées! :-)

PeterParis said...

On préfère peut-être le Parfum de Süsskind! :-)

Alors, partons vers le sud! :-)

I believe you find seagulls all over the continent nowadays! :-)

PeterParis said...

You are probably right, but I based my words on some official "Mairie de Paris" information! :-)

I don't quite share your opinion! :-)

Nice to read you here and happy to see you back for some new posts! :-)

PeterParis said...

There are places where especially some older ladies offer something to eat to the birds - although they may be breaking some law. You will be able to see this kind of birds in crowd quite often. :-)

Aucun problème pour l'accord d'Olivier, je suis sur! :-)

So true what you say. The problem is often that the food is given by some mostly nice and old ladies and it's difficult to be "tough" with them! :-)

PeterParis said...


You can well live without the "subjonctif". I have been here now for some 36 years and still have serious problems ... and try to avoid it! :-)

They are not hurting you, don't worry! It may just be a feeling! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks! :-)

Thanks! :-)

Thanks and bisous! :-)

PeterParis said...

I agree, especially on the "unless"! :-)

You may forget the bird food! No, you are right, I never saw a baby pigeon. Where are they hidden? :-)

Maya: ,No, not afraid! (I zoomed a bit!) :-)

PeterParis said...

I guess there is no doubt that you join the majority! :-)

La Belette Rouge:
I beleive I need the model! :-)

Another member of the majority, obviously! :-)

PeterParis said...

Thanks ... and so do I! :-)

Yes, it's an obvious reference! :-)


PeterParis said...

Maybe we should share some with you? :-)

No ownership! :-)

The majority is getting stronger and stronger! :-)

PeterParis said...

Une référence de film différente! :-)

I can imagine which kind of! I visited Ranelagh a few thousand times (walking kids, dog...)and never had you "experience"! :-)

Not a bird expert either, but yes, I guess the white one is rather some kind of seagull! :-)

PeterParis said...

It's done also in Paris! :-)

Au Lapin Blanc:
Indeed! :-)