Those who live in New York City are aware, either by their own keen observational skills or those of an overly verbal observer nearby, that there are no baby pigeons in the city. I had sort of forgotten about this anomaly until it was mentioned in the book I am currently reading, How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley. Then I went running to my window, because there is a pigeon couple that has made a nest on the fire escape across from my building. Just the other week I saw an egg in their nest. An egg means a baby pigeon! I was going to be the first to spot a baby pigeon in New York City! (Yeah, I know, I got way too excited by that. When you’ve been sick all week you take your kicks where you can get ‘em.)
I trudged to my window to find that I could not see what was in the nest due to one of the pigeons sitting on it. I don’t really know how long it takes for a pigeon egg to hatch. The other day I was pretty certain I no longer saw an egg in the nest. I feel like this has been the scenario for several months now, I think I see an egg, I don’t think I see an egg, I think I see an egg, you get the idea. Maybe this pigeon couple keeps having accidental eggs, I mean, I don’t think there is pigeon contraceptive readily available. Maybe they want to wait until they are ready to move Upstate, or at least to Brooklyn or Queens, before starting a family. Maybe they are waiting until they can afford better real estate. Maybe pigeons look exactly like, well, pigeons, from birth. Maybe their young are the pigeons hanging out on the ledge just below. Maybe I have spent way too much time pondering this whole thing, especially for someone who is mildly afraid of birds.
I Googled, “baby pigeons in NYC” because that is what anyone my age does these days with questions that none of your textable friends will be able to answer with any certainty. I was basically told that I, along with every other New Yorker who claims the city has no baby pigeons, am an asshole who is in too much of a rush to stop and observe, let alone enjoy, nature. I was informed that baby pigeons reside in nests, in Manhattan, high above ground, until they are ready to fly away and live their own pigeon lives, which is apparently pretty soon after hatching. Thank you, fellow New Yorkers who are not too busy with lives that revolve around anything other than hunting out pigeon nests in Central Park, for giving me a new plethora of useless knowledge I will no doubt store in my brain instead of facts that I might actually need. And there you have it; baby pigeons do exist in New York City. You just haven’t spent enough time looking really high up in trees for pigeon nests. That still doesn’t quite answer what is going on with my pigeon couple, but fear not, I will keep you updated should their whole egg in the nest, no egg in the nest thing result in anything interesting.