Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Thought We Had a Deal

Fans of the television sitcom "Seinfeld" might remember the line, "I thought we had a deal." It was a classic episode in which one of the story lines involved George Costanza accidentally hitting with a car, or stepping on, pigeons. He explains the first encounter here:

"JERRY: You ran over some pigeons? How many?
GEORGE: What ever they had. Miranda thinks I'm a butcher but i-i-it's not my fault is it? Don't we have a deal with the pigeons?

JERRY: Course we have a deal. They get out of the way of our cars, we look the other way on the statue defecation.

GEORGE: Right! And these pigeons broke the deal. I will not accept the blame for this!"


Today I felt like George, the only difference was that I was cycling. Like most New Yorkers, unless one is being eaten by a hawk or falcon, I pretty much ignore pigeons on a daily basis. When I'm cycling, if there are any in my path, I rarely apply my brakes as they always move out of the way. Well, almost always.

I was near the Parade Grounds pedaling up Argyle Road when I approached a flock of about six pigeons standing in the middle of the street. Five flew out of the way while I was still several yards away from them, the six hesitated. At the last moment he flew towards the parked cars, but I clipped the back end of the bird with my front wheel. Birds are surprising light weight and I didn't feel a bump or any vibration up through the bike frame. I looked to my right in time to see the bird spin 180 degrees and hit the tire of a parked car. In seconds, he righted himself, then flew off to join the other five birds.

They say that New Yorkers are a tough lot, but I think New York pigeons win the prize for surviving a daily barrage of automobiles, bicycles, dogs, pedestrians and, of course, birds of prey. At only 9 ounces, the lowly Rock Pigeon not only survives, but seems to thrive in the "City that never sleeps". I may have to rethink the whole "deal" thing.

by Rob Jett for "The City Birder"

1 comment:

Bluebird of Friendliness said...

Yikes! I'm glad that bird was all right. I've never hit an animal with a car (thankfully) but I always dread the thought. When my dad was teaching me to drive he made me run over a hamburger and pretend it was a cute kitty, so I would know that a piece of meat is not worth swerving into oncoming traffic for. He was a truck driver for many years and saw some really bad drivers, so I can see where he was coming from, but seriously, what a way to rattle someone emotionally, not to mention ruin a perfectly good hamburger. So far so good in terms of animals, though.

Thanks for that bug guide link, by the way. I snapped some shots of a possible cicada and a cool butterfly today. I'm going to have some fun with that!

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope