Bridey Heing
July 29, 2015 7:43 am

In cities around the world, pigeons are so common that you barely notice them. Assuming they aren’t flying directly at you/trying to steal your food, they blend into the background. But in the UK, a colorful bevy of birds are popping up, leaving people on social media scratching their heads over the sudden appearance of pink pigeons.

People have been seeing the pigeons for a while, but just the week the Manchester Evening News shared a picture of a ruffled and very pink pigeon spotted in Stockport.

The picture was also shared on MEN‘s Facebook, where others began sharing their own pigeon pics. The image below was taken a year ago in Bristol, according to poster Lorraine Williams. AKA people have been spotting these pink pigeons for a curiously long time.

The above pigeon with pink highlights was also caught bopping around town. Although all the pigeons are pink in the pictures being shared, it’s definitely not the same pigeon, just in case you suspect some kind of pigeon foul play. Although some have touches of pink on otherwise pigeon-y feathers, others are the brightest pink you can imagine. There have been many pink pigeon sightings:  

 

This one, snapped in Bletchley last year, actually totally rocks the pink. You go, pink pigeon!

Alright, so now that we’ve seen the pink pigeons, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the situation. Why are there pink pigeons flying around the UK? Have pigeons evolved to be hot pink, in attempts to woo our french fries away from us? Or is this part of some kind of Doctor Who style villainous plot?

A lot of people have put forth possible reasons why these beautiful birds have popped up. Some suggest that they might be racing pigeons, dyed that color so that their owner can keep track of where they are. If that is the case, that pigeon racer needs to get his flock under control.

Others suggest that it might be caused by dye workshops, where nearby pigeons can get themselves covered in dye while pigeoning around the place.

Or maybe, just maybe, these pigeons are no accident. Mashable was contacted by David Noble, an ecologist and member of the British Trust for Ornithology, and he had a pretty solid hypothesis as to where these birds are coming from.

“I have no idea really but apparently you can pay to have doves released at weddings or other events, and someone here also heard of a company offering something like a ‘colourful display of pigeons’,” Noble told the site. “I found a link to one in Australia and there is likely to be something similar in the UK. So we suspect that might be the source.”

So there you have it! Or, well, maybe not. I guess we’ll likely never know where the pink pigeons are coming from. But if you’re planning a wedding and thinking about having dyed birds released at the celebration, just remember you could cause an international debate. And maybe pick a color other than pink — that one’s taken.

Underdogs of the animal world: Pigeons

This girl is friends with birds, like a real-life Disney princess

(Images via Twitter/Facebook)

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