Do you like pigeons?

A slightly different view of these birds

As a Dubrovnik Old City resident, the last I want to meet in the city are pigeons. Do you like them? Constantly circling the city, I experienced “good luck” countless times when I was hit by pigeon poop. Stinky, acidy, causing discoloration on your wardrobe, not to mention shame and laughter of others who see it.

But do you know that acid from their feces is so strong that it dissolves the limestone? Their dirt is damaging the city more than acid rains or ravages of time.

Like many other cities, Dubrovnik too is full of pigeons. They nest on walls, on porches of old palaces, on the top of ancient fortresses. They accommodated to the city life, not bothered by noise nor visitors. Children like to chase them. Parents call them flying rats.

Every day at noon, they gather at the Gundulić Square. Ten minutes before noon it becomes like a scene from the Hitchcock movie Birds. Hundreds of pigeons land on nearby rooftops and lurk. They wait for the city service official to sprinkle the corn kernels. At the sound of city bells, he comes and they crash to the square. The feast starts. They fight for every grain, snatching food from each other’s mouths.

Locals know the tradition, but visitors do not. The flock of birds crashing horrifies people. They run away, screaming and fleeing, refuging to nearby restaurants in panic. Dogs bark, cats circle, but neither of them dares to run into the battlefield.

In less than five minutes, everything comes back to normal again. There are no leftovers, and they fly away.

A GENTLE REMINDER TO BE CAUTIOUS

Be aware of pigeons when you walk through the Dubrovnik Old City. Don’t lean on walls, be careful if you stop under the candelabras. Always check-up. If you see a pigeon’s tail sticking out of a wall, move!

Pigeons in the city don’t have natural enemies. They are well-fed by locals and tourists, so don’t bother to chase them. They prefer to lie down on the restaurant terraces where food comes without any effort.

Although, for many years, an owl lived in the garden of the School of Art situated in the southern part of the city. She is the only one who feeds on pigeons. You could see her late at night, patrolling over the streets. Or, if you stay in the neighborhood, you could hear her occasionally.

Join me on the Dubrovnik city tour, and together we’ll discover more animals living inside the city walls.

pigeons

Do you like pigeons?

A sligtly different view of these birds

As a Dubrovnik Old City resident, the last I want to meet in the city are pigeons. Do you like them? Constantly circling the city, I experienced “good luck” countless times when I was hit by pigeon poop. Stinky, acidy, causing discoloration on your wardrobe, not to mention shame and laughter of others who see it.

But do you know that acid from their feces is so strong that it dissolves the limestone? Their dirt is damaging the city more than acid rains or ravages of time.

Like many other cities, Dubrovnik too is full of pigeons. They nest on walls, on porches of old palaces, on the top of ancient fortresses. They accommodated to the city life, not bothered by noise nor visitors. Children like to chase them. Parents call them flying rats.

Every day at noon, they gather at the Gundulić Square. Ten minutes before noon it becomes like a scene from the Hitchcock movie Birds. Hundreds of pigeons land on nearby rooftops and lurk. They wait for the city service official to sprinkle the corn kernels. At the sound of city bells, he comes and they crash to the square. The feast starts. They fight for every grain, snatching food from each other’s mouths.

Locals know the tradition, but visitors do not. The flock of birds crashing horrifies people. They run away, screaming and fleeing, refuging to nearby restaurants in panic. Dogs bark, cats circle, but neither of them dares to run into the battlefield.

In less than five minutes, everything comes back to normal again. There are no leftovers, and they fly away.

pigeons

A GENTLE REMINDER TO BE CAUTIOUS

Be aware of pigeons when you walk through the Dubrovnik Old City. Don’t lean on walls, be careful if you stop under the candelabras. Always check-up. If you see a pigeon’s tail sticking out of a wall, move!

Pigeons in the city don’t have natural enemies. They are well-fed by locals and tourists, so don’t bother to chase them. They prefer to lie down on the restaurant terraces where food comes without any effort.

Although, for many years, an owl lived in the garden of the School of Art situated in the southern part of the city. She is the only one who feeds on pigeons. You could see her late at night, patrolling over the streets. Or, if you stay in the neighborhood, you could hear her occasionally.

Join me on the Dubrovnik city tour, and together we’ll discover more animals living inside the city walls.

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