To some, New York City’s ample pigeon population is a nuisance. To Fordham graduate student Elizabeth Carlen, it’s the stuff of romance novels.
What many people don’t know about pigeons, says Carlen, a doctoral candidate who researches urban ecology and evolutionary biology, is that pigeons mate for life. Moreover, they work hard to keep the romance alive. When you walk down the street and see one pigeon fluffing its feathers and chasing after another, this is not a hapless bachelor pursuing an uninterested mate; this is a sign of a committed relationship.
“They constantly do their mating dance,” said Carlen, who was featured this morning on WNYC. “That’s one way they keep up their pair bond.”
Find the full WNYC story—which also discusses pigeons’ surprising ability to distinguish Monet paintings from Picassos—here.
Happy Valentine’s Day!