Is a Park Slope Pigeon Serial Killer on the Loose?
It's hard to say whether the allegations of pigeons being slaughtered in Park Slope are a case of animal cruelty or lunacy or a little bit of both, but the photos show signs that popped up along Eighth Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets over the weekend. There are more than a half-dozen of them. The signs allude to a situation in which someone is said to be running down pigeon en masse in the Slope and/or poisoning them. As for the, um, curious part, it suggests that "surveillance cameras" are being installed to catch the pigeon killers and that "community police" are making checks to nab the avian homicidal maniacs(s). This all has its roots in what may be a neighborhood feud of epic (and, now, deadly) proportions between a resident who feeds pigeons and a neighbor that doesn't like them so much. The bird lover was dubbed the "Pigeon Advocate" by neighborhood blogger OTBKB. The pigeon person feeds the birds and has had many run ins with a neighbor who she calls "a maniac" and with what she calls "goons" who work at neighboring Methodist Hospital who apparently don't like birdseed or pigeons either. The Pigeon Advocate claims that "there have been 10 to 20 run-over pigeons found in piles" over the last week at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Sixth Street.
Here's where it gets very interesting: This is not the first time that pigeon murders have been alleged in this block of Park Slope. Back in 1998, pigeons living on Eighth Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets were shot with darts from a dart gun. The grisly attacks made the New York Times. It was around the time someone was poisoning pigeons and squirrels in Gramercy.
Back in 1998, the Times wrote of the Park Slope Pigeon Dart Attacks:
A flock of pigeons roosting in the oak trees along the eastern side of Eighth Avenue, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, has become the target of someone with a blowgun. At least six birds have been seen in recent weeks with metal darts as long as five inches stuck in various parts of their bodies.Are the SUV Attacks of 2007 and the Dart Gun Attacks of 1998 related? Does this little stretch of Eighth Avenue harbor a Pigeon Serial Killer who has come out of a long slumber to kill again? Could the child who did this to a pigeon in Prospect Park this summer have gone on a rampage?
''It was like something in a horror film,'' Stacy Griffin, a 44-year-old receptionist, said about one sighting. ''This pigeon was flying around with a dart right through its neck.'' Ms. Griffin lives in the Roosevelt Arms, a six-story apartment building that is shaded by the oaks.
In the meantime, both the Sun and amNY report this morning on a proposal in the City Council to outlaw feeding pigeons. The proposal comes from Councilman Simcha Felder, (D-Brooklyn), who will announce a bill today to make it illegal to feed pigeons. A "pigeon czar" will handle all the pigeon-related complaints.
We haven't seen the piles of dead pigeons and we certainly wonder what kind of effort needs to go into running down that many of the birds with a car or SUV, but the allegations of animal cruelty are certainly troubling and we're sure there will be many opinions on a pigeon feeding ban and how it would be enforced--even with a Pigeon Czar.
Labels: Park Slope