Pigeon mapping

Do pigeons reflect the perceived prestige of the area in which they scratch?

We have started to observe and follow pigeons. It sometimes seems that pigeons reflect the neighbourhood in which they scratch, or at least our perception of these areas.

Whenever possible we take pictures of the pigeons. We try to single out an individual bird as clearly as possible, learning in the process that taking a still close-up of a pigeon is not always easy! We also try to avoid any form of selection or composition, though subconsciously my impression of the area may already be influencing the way in which I take the photo. Each image is archived, along with the exact location, date and time of day that the picture was taken, and uploaded onto Google Maps; a collection of pigeon portraits representing the area in which they are located.

We welcome guest collaborators for a day of intensive mapping, an in depth study of the pigeon population in a given area. What patterns will emerge? Where do we find the scrawniest, and where do we find the plushest? Do the images of the pigeons relate to the perceived prestige of an area? Do they confirm or contradict our own subjective view of the city? What parallels can we draw between the portraits and existing statistical information? If you were to continue doing this over a longer period of time, would it reflect the changing demographics of urban communities?

Please feel free to conduct this experiment in any city and send me the images to upload onto the database. All collaborators will be appropriately accredited.


Pigeon#07827.JPG - A pigeon mapped in Blackburn. Kaspar Wimberley