Avoiding An Expected Trajectory

Pigeons in flight seldom look effortless. Like watching a brick with wings desperately trying to avoid an inevitable brick-like trajectory

Image by icopythat under this creative commons licence

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2 thoughts on “Avoiding An Expected Trajectory

  1. I think you’re being a little pigeonist here. I like pigeons and watch them a lot. They do not soar and perform aerial acrobatics as do gulls but what they do – maneouvering in confined spaces – they do very well. Have you ever see a gull take off vertically? No gull can do that but pigeons do it, and I catch my breath every time I see it. The other day a pigeon flew towards me, realized his flight path was blocked, stopped and hovered, and then rotated in place and finally sped off. That’s virtuosity on wings.

    • You make a good case for pigeon manoeverability. On paper our pigeon friends should indeed possess the short stopping power of a ocean going super tanker and despite the many pigeons that have slammed into my kitchen window and the many pigeon feathers in the garden that are testament to a close shave with a cat the majority of pigeons get from A-B without embedding themselves into passing pedestrians or car windscreens. I do see pigeons attempt the odd soar though. One will climb steeply and quickly before wings outstretched they dive precariously as if just for the hell of it whilst inside their heads they shout ‘soars like an eagle’ as their bulk drops like a stone through a wet paper bag and the hard work of constant wing flapping begins once more in earnest to avoid the inevitable deep pigeon shaped hole in the ground that could all too easily eventuate if that momentary soar / dive was enjoyed for an inadvisable extra second or so.

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