Contemplation on a Predator – WIP
October 17, 2009
The second painting of my Pigeons project is: Contemplation on a Predator.
Pigeons have many enemies and often sit between two chairs. For example there are other birds, which prey on pigeons such as the peregrine falcon, being the #1 enemy and then hawks. There is a declared hostility between crows and pigeons although crows normally are not able to catch pigeons unless they are too young or sick and old. Pigeons are simply too fast and too maneuverable to be caught by crows.
But pigeons can also be caught and eaten by birds you would not expect to be predators such as a pelican f.e. But these are rare and strange incidents and rather accidental. I assume this can happen because pigeons normally do not consider pelicans being their enemies.
There are endless 4-legged predators, who can be dangerous for a pigeon such as cats and dogs. Normally pigeons are too fast to be caught by such a predator but it may be inattentive, without experience, too young, sick or injured. Pigeons are often not alert enough, trusting that their environment is safe. The reason for this is that city pigeons are not really wild birds but feral birds which are to be considered domestic animals due to their genes. This is something that most people do not know about pigeons. Although they can learn to be alert against certain circumstances and predators (which they normally learn from their parents and the flock to whom they belong) they do not own the same instincts as wild doves and wood pigeons. Then it can happen that the pet dog from the neighbourhood or the nice little cat from another garden suddenly decides to eat pigeon meat.
And last but not least there is a certain 2-legged predator, called human, who’s behaviour is definitely not human at all. When pigeons get used to humans who are nice to them they become easy prey for all kinds of cruelties and ferocities, stupid jokes and endless disrespect including from all kinds of organizations which pride themselves rescuing birds and other animals. As soon as they get to know it is about a city pigeon they back down from giving help and or protection. This is very sad and makes me really furious. This is discrimination of a whole species.
Pigeons are mistreated, beaten for fun, kicked, shot and run over by cars when the driver thinks the bird takes too long to get off the road only because it was desperate for food. Pigeons are chased away by any means, sometimes only by clapping hands, sometimes by placing dreadful and dangerous spikes on places where people think they should not roost. That pigeons can injure themselves in these traps is not relevant. Pigeons are poisoned, beaten to death, strangled. Pigeons are bred to be eaten, trained for “racing sport” with methods which seem to originate from the dark middle ages, senseless, barbarous, cruel, and totally against any understanding of treating any living being with respect and care.
Pigeons are bred for purposes which are beyond my understanding, f.e. the king pigeons. These are bred to be meat only, huge, white, beautiful but for one purpose only: a dish on one’s plate. The cruelty of this breeding is that these birds, whenever they happen to escape their cages, do not know who their predators are. They do not know any more how to survive in the “wild city”, which means they are doomed for starvation if not fed. They have lost their shortening reaction which makes them prey for any animal that is keen on pigeon meat. How sick is this?
I could go on and on with this rant. I will continue in another post about the myths regarding pathogenic deseases which merely do not exist, not for humans nor for other animals.
For now I am going back to painting…
My challenge in this painting is the plumage. I have never painted feathers before so this becomes a real exercise. To be honest, it became more difficult than I thought it was because I really want to show the delicacy of those feathers, their wonderful luster, their different shapes. I am still working on it….