Category Archives: History

Pigeons must be mourning

Pigeons must be mourning the death of Oscar Niemeyer, their greatest modern architect. He made a very stylish house for them in Brazil. New York Times reports his death today. He was 104.

 The dovecote designed in 1961 by Oscar Niemeyer on the Praça dos Três Poderes in Brasília, Brazil. Material: concrete.

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Getting to the meat: The Pigeon Relocation and Management Project

We’re accepting applications  for participation in the PIGEON RELOCATION AND MANAGEMENT PROJECT funded by an Ohio State University Faculty Research Enhancement Grant.  Using the only effective, safe and humane  deterrent system recommended by the Pigeon Control Advisory Service, selected pigeons will be discouraged from roosting in unwanted areas.

Pigeons nesting where you don’t want them?  Are you a Coshocton, Ohio resident? Fill out our form to enter your pigeons.  Pigeon Relocation Application Form

After 71 years of use as a public building, first as the Coshocton YWCA, then as the Maria Hay Forbes Center, the J. P. Forbes House was demolished in early 2011.

In the fall of 2008 there were 364 pigeons that alternately sat on the roof of the Maria Hay Forbes Center and the electric lines passing over the radio station. (High school students counted them as part of a collaborative project with the Pomerene Center for the Arts. view video)  Since the demolition of the Maria Hay Forbes Center and its pigeon friendly tower and ample eave returns, where have all those pigeons gone?

We’re interested in learning where the pigeons have relocated. In turn, we are proposing to relocate 10 pairs from these current environments (where they are presumably unwanted) to the old PARK hotel spacewhere they can be managed. We think in terms of deviating from the Elmer Fudd/Bugs Bunny prototype of human/ animal relationships and ask…Doesn’t Elmer always lose? Aren’t we always on the side of the cwazy wabbit? Can we re-imagine how we fit into our environment?

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a short history of my interest in pigeons.1


Yoshio Komatsu, Earthen Pigeon Houses, pg. 319, BUILT BY HAND Vernacular Buildings Around the World, by Athena Steen, Bill Steen and Eiko Komatsu, Gibb Smith Publisher, Salt Lake City © 2003

I trace my interest in pigeons to a seemingly inessential discovery of and visual seduction by this photo of clay pigeon towers–I am in love with these raw towers randomly punctuated with holes and sticks like wild hair for perches.

Stage two.  Cursory reading.  I am led to an admiration of the simplicity of the agriculture–of the ancient consensual relationship between humans and pigeons: pilfered grain and seeds in exchange for squab, housing in exchange for guano (fertilizer in the middle east, for growing voluptuous Persian melons.)

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