Where Do All the Pigeons in Cities Disappear To?

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John Metcalfe at The Atlantic Cities answered the question every city slicker wonders at least once: how come there aren't dead pigeons littering the city? Where do they go? How can they just disappear? The answer, though not too surprising, is rooted in nature.

Pigeons are tasty! And dumb! And low on nature's totem pole in the wild (with in the wild meaning in the city). According to Metcalfe, the flying rats are hunted down by red-tailed hawks, falcons, owls, cats, humans and even rats and possums. They get eaten by other animals (turtles can kill them too) and disappear into those other animals stomach. Even flies and ants get in on the fun, they can take out a whole pigeon in less than a few days.


If they're lucky enough to not get eaten and manage to live a long life (15-year lifespan in comfort, 5-year lifespan in the wild), pigeons nearing their death would "retreat to attics and ventilation shafts or settle behind metal beams and the signs of businesses. Also popular are abandoned buildings and garages." They might annoy you everyday on the city streets, but when they die they want to go out in peace. Read all about the disappearing dead pigeons at The Atlantic Cities. [The Atlantic Cities, Image Credit: marching ants/Shutterstock]