We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.


“The Beak Shall Inherit the Earth,” (7/12) offers good food for thought. Pigeons are great. They shared my roof, which I used as a porch for years when I lived on Calvert Street in downtown Baltimore. The main reason I hated moving was leaving them.

Pigeons have long been known to be affectionate and sentient. In science, pigeons have led the way in showing that birds have cognitive capabilities equivalent to those of mammals, including primates. The ability of pigeons to handle complex geometrical, spatial, sequential, and photographic concepts and percepts, to solve problems, retain precise memories, and invent ways to communicate their plain understanding to humans is awesome. In Through Our Eyes Only?, Dr. Marian Stamp Dawkins, a biologist at Oxford, cites pigeons as exemplars of “what we mean by thinking; working things out in the head.” I could not even pass most of the tests that pigeons have been shown to excel in.

Beneath the trademark Washington City Paper razz, I felt that the writer really likes pigeons. I hope so. No apologies are necessary.


United Poultry Concerns, Inc.

Potomac, Md.