pigeon

19 Stories

Birds Kill Man Who Cleaned Pigeon Poop

Pigeon allergy, pneumonia claim life of 72-year-old

(Newser) - A man who came in contact with pigeons but didn't much like them has died in an unexpected way—from a pigeon allergy. Peter Willoughby of Hampshire County, England, cleaned bird droppings at a Ford factory for 25 years and let a friend store pigeons in his garden, the... More »

Racing Pigeons Found Guilty of Doping

Birds test positive for cocaine, painkillers

(Newser) - A brand-new doping scandal made headlines today. And no, it wasn’t another baseball player or cyclist, but six of the top star Belgian racing pigeons. Several of the country’s newspapers reported the birds tested positive for drugs, including cocaine and painkillers. The guilty pigeons were apparently caught after... More »

4 Animals With Crazy Abilities

Sierra Club list includes tigers, thanks to their whiskers

(Newser) - How does a tiger know when its prey is dead? It uses its ultra-sensitive whiskers to detect a pulse, or lack thereof. So says the Sierra Club in rounding up four animals with "superhero" abilities. Those whiskers have sensitive nerve endings, and after a tiger takes down its prey,... More »

Has 'Unbreakable' WWII Message Been Cracked?

Canadian man says WWI codebook was the key

(Newser) - A recently discovered coded message from World War II may have been cracked. A British intelligence agency took the 27 blocks of text, found attached to the remains of a pigeon discovered in a UK chimney, to the public last month after its codebreakers had no luck. Now, a Canadian... More »

WWII Message's Code May Be Unbreakable

Experts seek help decoding newly discovered missive

(Newser) - While renovating his chimney, a UK man discovered a long-lost coded message from World War II attached to the remains of a pigeon. Now experts are trying to figure out what the message said—and so far, they're at a loss, the BBC reports. A British intelligence agency is... More »

Bird 'Bermuda Triangle' Claims Hundreds of Pigeons

British pigeon racers distraught

(Newser) - There's a new Bermuda Triangle—but this one's for the birds. Racing pigeons, who are supposed to rush home when released far away, are disappearing in northern England, the Telegraph reports. Just 13 of 232 birds released in North Yorkshire last weekend made it to their destinations, and... More »

Pigeons Have Their Own GPS

Study shows how they navigate using Earth's magnetic field

(Newser) - It's no wonder pigeons are renowned for their sense of direction: Their brains function like biological GPS units, say two researchers. As Nature explains, scientists already knew that pigeons used the Earth's magnetic field to get around, but the new study shows for the first time how specific... More »

World's Most Expensive Pigeon Sells for $328K

Chinese tycoon snaps it up for racing

(Newser) - Who knew? A pigeon, apparently a very fast pigeon, has sold for a record $328,000, notes the Wall Street Journal . A Chinese tycoon named Hu Zhen Yu bought the Dutch bird in an online auction run by the company Pipa. It will presumably be a rock star in the... More »

Pigeons Ace Math Tests

Perform as well as monkeys at abstract number quiz

(Newser) - Don't let those blank stares fool you: Pigeons, it seems, are the math nerds of the bird world. Researchers found that the creatures can do more than count—they can handle numbers in the abstract sense, an ability never before seen outside primates, the New York Times reports. Pigeons... More »

Drug-Smuggling Pigeon Nabbed

Overloaded bird caught outside prison

(Newser) - Police in Colombia busted a pigeon narco-trafficker after it was caught trying to fly into a prison with too heavy a load. The bird, which is now being cared for by authorities, was found struggling to fly with 40 grams of marijuana and 5 grams of cocaine paste strapped to... More »

Pigeons Love to Gamble: Study

Research suggests gambling is natural urge, even at lousy odds

(Newser) - Gambling may be a fundamental part of human—and avian—nature, according to researchers who were surprised to learn that pigeons like gambling as much as people do. In the "pigeon casino" the researchers set up, trained birds given a choice of pecking a button that delivered three pellets... More »

Hail of Pigeon Poop Ends Concert

Kings of Leon forced off St. Louis stage after 3 songs

(Newser) - Musicians for centuries have faced rotten tomatoes from disapproving audiences, but never before what faced the Kings of Leon on Friday night: Taking the stage for a show in St. Louis, the band was forced off after only three songs by a barrage of poop coming from pigeons in the... More »

Pigeon Detained on Suspicion of Spying

Seriously: India suspects Pakistani subterfuge

(Newser) - A pigeon was taken into custody by Indian police last week when residents along the border with Pakistan suspected it was involved in a spy caper. The bird wasn't bearing a message when it was caught, but it did have a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body... More »

PETA Protests Tyson's Pigeon Show

But, for once, the boxer seems like the nice guy in the situation

(Newser) - Shocking, we know: PETA isn’t happy about Mike Tyson’s upcoming pigeon racing reality show . The animal rights organization wants the Animal Planet show canceled, calling it “cruel” and insisting it’s all about gambling, not the birds. “That’s why people do it, to make money,... More »

Mike Tyson's New Reality Show Is About...Pigeons

Yes, pigeons.

(Newser) - In what may perhaps be the strangest celebrity news of the day, Mike Tyson is getting his own television series…about pigeons. Animal Planet is teaming up with the former boxing champ for Taking on Tyson, which will follow his involvement with competitive pigeon racing, Broadcasting & Cable reports. “... More »

Smuggler Caught With Pigeons in His Pants

(Newser) - A man was caught with his pants down at Melbourne Airport on Sunday—literally. When custom officers asked a suspicious-looking character who'd just flown in from Dubai to drop his trousers, they were shocked to find a live pigeon strapped to each leg, the Age reports. Each was wrapped in... More »

Iran Nabs 'Spying' Pigeons

Two birds arrested near Natanz nuclear site

(Newser) - Two pigeons are under arrest in Iran after the alleged avian spies were found hovering near the nation's uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, the Telegraph reports. The first, a black one, was caught wearing espionage gear—a metal ring held by “invisible” strings. The birds may have been communicating what... More »

Venice Squawking Over Pigeons

City wants to say arrivederci to the foul fowl

(Newser) - Venice's pigeons are nearly as famous as its gondolas, but the days of tourists feeding pigeon in St. Mark's Square could be numbered, reports Der Speigel. Venice has one of the highest pigeon-to-person ratios of any city in the world, and fed-up city politicians want to remove the square's exemption... More »

Hollywood Tries Pigeon Birth Control

Rooftop feeders will hold contraceptive-laced kibble

(Newser) - Hollywood will try to cut its pigeon population by lacing rooftop feeders with birdie birth control. The contraceptive OvoControl P is meant to reduce the spectacular amount of pigeon poop flooding from above, the LA Times reports, and even PETA is on board. "We would much rather they use... More »

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