7 Love Lessons from the Lives of Pigeons

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Devotion is the name of the game for these fair fowl. Pigeons are monogamous and mate for life, embodying the traditional romantic ideals of humans. Aphrodite and other fertility goddesses were represented as pigeons. We still release doves at weddings to symbolize love and hope, and what are doves but pigeons that flew through the car wash.

Because of their awesome “homing” abilities, pigeons have delivered important messages to people for thousands of years — from Noah’s arc to the Greek Olympic games to both world wars. The noble pigeon’s most valuable messages, however, are not tied to his feet — but his swiftly-beating heart. These seven love lessons are adapted from the lives of pigeons.

1. It’s In His Kiss


Ever see pigeons “kissing”? When they lock beaks, it’s no casual peck. A lady pigeon flirts with a boy bird by placing her beak inside his. Translation: “You’re cute! Care for me and our unborn children?” If the male accepts her beak, it means, “Kay!” Then they regurgitate food into each other’s mouths, real romantic like. And they’re mated for life.

The point is, kissing is a language. For people, unlike pigeons, it’s a tongue exchanged with many — but it still speaks volumes. Practice meaningful make outs, without sharing what you ate for lunch.

2. “Dancing” is Overrated


Chicks dig the head bob, you guys.

3. Make Lovey Dovey


Pigeons don’t fuck. They make love. Gently, like teenage sweethearts losing their virginity on a bed of rose petals listening to Jewel. Then they affectionately preen each other, cooing sweet nothings.

While pigeons proliferate, if people always had such vanilla sex, our species would surely die of boredom. That said – every now and then – it’s nice to put away the handcuffs, light a freaking votive candle, and do it pigeon style.

4. There’s No Place Like Home


Sure, they like to go out and get high as a kite — but pigeons always end up at home. In fact, they’ll fly over 500 miles at 60+ mph, without stopping for food or water, to get there (and you thought the trek to your borough was bad). Pigeons navigate by tapping into the earth’s magnetic fields — a.k.a. magic. All to cozy up with their mates.

So next time you’re swearing at the absent L train at 3 am, consider the pigeon. Whatever the distance, cuddling your cutie under the covers is worth it.

5. Adapt

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Humans, possessing a delicate aversion to poop, consider pigeons high-maintenance pets. But left to their own minimalist leanings, these no-frills lovebirds are easy to please (“Pizza crust for dinner again, babe? Awesome, pizza crust FTW!”). Like the honey badger before it, pigeons don’t give a fuck.

Populating every continent except Antarctica, pigeons can deal with nearly any climate on earth without migrating. They’re down for whatever. So why squabble with your boo over that Miami vacay you still can’t afford? Take a “staycation” powered by Seamless instead. Adaptability is key – in love and world domination alike.

6. Parent Like It’s 2013, People


Ever heard of something called “gender equality”? Pigeon partners divide domestic duties 50/50, including egg-sitting. Pigeons are also the only birds to produce a milk-like baby formula in their crops — and dads do it, too — nursing their young like confident, modern men. Isn’t it time we caught up with pigeons? (Putting aside the fact that, in a single year, a pair can make as many babies as the Duggars…)

7. Learn to Love Again


Pigeons don’t break up. Should a relationship end, however, you won’t catch them brooding over their ex. If a pigeon is plucked from their partner and locked in a breeding box with a bird of the opposite sex, for example, well… what’s the use of crying into a family-size bottle of Merlot? Again, to thrive is to adapt to adversity — when life gives you lemons, make love.

Pigeon facts from Andrew D. Blechman’s book, Pigeons.

Image via Flickr