The Fat Pigeon Issue – Part 1

No question about it, obesity in the pigeon world is on the up. Wandering about over the weekend, I couldn’t help noticing how there are fat pigeons everywhere these days. In some ways, considering free seed handouts are a thing of the past and less people seem to be chucking their takeaways, it’s quite surprising. I decided to go speak to some of them. Find out what it’s all about.

This is the first one I found who was kind enough to interrupt her eating to talk to me. Name was Henrietta. Not sure why it is, but fat pigeons always seems to have fat pigeon names. She was never going to be called something sexy like Susie or Alicia. Had to be Henrietta:

Henrietta – a pigeon who’s seen better days.

I asked Henrietta what she had eaten that day. She told me she had been lucky enough to find half a buttered bagel on Compton Street and, as there were no other pigeons around at the time, she’d been able to keep most of it herself. I asked her, as it was a whole half bagel, whether it might have been nicer and fairer to have shared it with her fellow pigeons? She didn’t say anything. She just licked a crumb from her beak, shuffled about a bit on her stumpy legs, and looked down at the pavement clearly ashamed of her greed. I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then.

So, having established that she was one of those fat fucks who liked to keep her food to herself, eating in secret whenever possible, I asked her what her preferred form of exercise was. Her response was worrying. First thing she said, whilst laughing in quite a scary way, was ‘Sex!’. I think she could sense my fear, so she changed it to ‘flying, occasionally.’ It was the use of the word ‘occasionally’ that concerned me.  She said she found flying boring. Boring? How can a pigeon find flying boring? It’s about the only thing we get to do that’s of any real interest. I asked her if she’d ever flown to the Thames. She looked at me with a blank expression and asked me what the Thames was. Jesus.

So, Henrietta – a pigeon who obviously spends most of her days staggering through the streets of Soho grazing on whatever shit she stumbles upon, probably never venturing any further than Shaftsbury Avenue. A great example of what not to do. What really concerns me is there didn’t seem to be any interest whatsoever in self-improvement…

Quite simply, if she carries on doing what she’s doing, she will just get larger and larger until one day, when flying and probably even walking are mere distant memories, she’ll simply explode, and it won’t be pretty. Not even slightly. I reckon death through explosion has got to be one of the most undignified ways to go. Think on Henrietta. In the meantime, I’m off today with Mart to go find me some more more fat pigeons. Maybe even offer them some dietary advice? Discuss an exercise regime possibly? I didn’t get the chance to go there with Henrietta. There I was mid sentence when she spotted a crust, her eyes glazed over, and she was off.

November 3, 2008. Uncategorized.


  1. Becci replied:

    I’m sorry to tell you this, Brian, but as a human I find a chubby pigeon quite darling.

  2. pigeonblog replied:

    Becci: Chubby is one thing.Obese is quite another…
    Your pal
    Bri P

  3. RoooRoooo replied:

    Have to share Brian’s opinion on this one – fat pigeons are not the slightest bit charming. They are disgustingly flaccid, and females are often nymphomaniacs. Just thiking of it is enough to make me shiver!

  4. PJ replied:

    My daughter’s name is Henrietta. She trains six days a week at her sport and is as fit as a fiddle – two silver medals at the National Championships demonstrate this.

    She could teach you thing or two about exercise regimes.

  5. RoooRoooo replied:

    Maybe she could go and speak with the Henrietta whose sad story has been told by Brian? I think this one needs help.

  6. Helen replied:

    Are you sure the pigeons aren’t just puffing themselves up a bit because it’s cold? I’m not trying to mask the potential problem of pigeon obesity of course, it’s just a suggestion…

  7. pigeonblog replied:

    RoooRoooo: Flaccid. Great word!
    Your pal

    PJ: Interested in the exercise regime bit… Got an update on all that which I’m posting later about getting together pigeon self-help groups. Maybe, as RoooRoooo says, Henrietta could help us out??
    Your pal

    Helen: Some do, absolutely. You can tell by the knees. Fat knees means the puffing is an obesity mask. Puffed up as well as sitting down- no question about it!
    Your pal

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