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Murder Mystery?

Last night we were on Nepean Street near Bank Street, and we saw a dead pigeon in the snow. And then another. And another. And another. And another.

We were mystified. We know pigeons aren’t the brightest birds around, but they must have some instinct for survival. What do you suppose happened to them?

Dead pigeon #1

Dead pigeon #2

Dead pigeon # 3

Dead pigeon #4

Dead pigeon #5

17 comments to Murder Mystery?

  • Maybe someone is killing them with some kind of poison mixed in with bird seed/feed. If so look around. You may find other species of dead birds. I’d certainly contact the SPCA & let them know.

  • XUP

    Creepy. I’d definitely contact someone to let them know. Avian flu? It might be poison or pellet guns? The last two look injured. I’m staying away from Nepean Street.

  • My black sense of humour suggests that Tom Lehrer might be in town.

    But on a more serious note, it might not be a bad idea to report this to the humane society.

  • Nat

    Very creepy, I’m not a fan of pigeons but something is definitely amiss. It looks like the bottom two are definitely injured.

  • Could be Ruby and Shackleton…

  • Tom Sawyer

    My cat’s gone missing. He left a note on the fridge: Gone to Ottawa to co-star in the new music video “The Cats of Parliament Hill.” He is a voracious eater of wildlife smaller than himself, including pigeons.

    But my cat doesn’t leave scraps. So perhaps the pigeons in question met misadventure as the snow was ploughed. (Or is it “plowed” in Ottawa?)

  • Tom, I was also speculating that the injuries might have been caused postmortem by a snowplow. As to how they came to be dead, here is one theory

  • my guess is they burrowed in a snowbank and got plowed to death.

  • XUP

    Bob – Tom Lehrer!! Haven’t heard him mentioned in yonks! It just takes a smidgen …

  • Hmmm. It seems most of your theories involve some kind of foul play, either by humans or cats. Other less creepy theories involve viruses (virii?), or snowplows taking advantage of the pigeons’ wee brains. Perhaps the pigeons were even slower than usual because their wee brains were frozen.

    I don’t think I’ll report it, but I’ll do a recognizance mission in that area tomorrow at lunchtime, and see if there is any more evidence of fowl play.

  • that’s really creepy scarey. i would definately alert ‘the officials’ whoever they might be. can you tell whether or not it looks as though they were hurt or biten? some years back we kept finding squirrel tails, no squirrels though. turns out there was a cat in the area that was catching and killing them. lord knows what it was doing with the carcas but for whatever reason, almost like a trophy, would leave the tail behind.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Well, Raino, allow me to enlighten you and perhaps the world at large. The cat ATE the carcasses. My cat was famous for doing exactly that: Eating the entire squirrel or chipmunk (in one meal, I hasten to add) but leaving the tail behind. (Likely it was too hairy.) Mice? That was slightly different. My cat swallowed them whole, head first, just like a snake would, and the last thing you’d see go down his throat was the tail. It was quite the spectacle. Hope this helps.

  • Stephanie

    Another thought: antifreeze is definitely poisonous, and I’m pretty sure road salt, dissolved in puddles, is also pretty bad. It’s possible that they drank a carelessly left puddle of antifreeze and then were mauled by a snow plow.
    The saddest thing I’ve seen in the past year was a flock of monarch butterflies in Mexico drinking from a toxic puddle and then perishing en masse.

  • Yup, Raino, I’m afraid Tom’s right. The cat ate the squirrels. (And they eat pretty much the entire bird, too, except for feathers and claws. That’s why I don’t think cats were involved in the Nepean Street massacre.)

    Stephanie – awwwwwww! That’s terrible. :(

  • Techwood

    Was there a gas leak in that area recently?

    Depending on the location/buildings, it might also have something to do with a vent stack of some sort? But as someone else commented – injuries might be due to snow-plow, etc.

    Maybe it’s all the polution from the cars while the bus strike is on?

  • Oooh, a gas leak! I never thought of that. That’s brilliant.

  • Our neighbour 2 doors down had this horrific cat that LOVED to eat the heads off squirrels, but left the bodies — IN OUR BACKYARD!!! I guess that cat must have had hoosier roots, and considered squirrel brains a delicacy.