The Pigeons of Piazza San Marco*

28 Oct


You wouldn’t think hanging out with pigeons would be that much fun. Certainly not a highlight of an entire city as intriguing as Venice. But it was really something. I finally get why Mike Tyson loves these ugly birds so much. We walked along a couple miles of narrow roads full of shops and found our way to the square. There was a lot of lovely architecture and beautiful churches and by far the most open space in Venice, compared to the cramped walkways we were used to, but our attention soon went to the pigeons. *

*Caitlin insists on calling Piazza San Marco “San Marco Polo.” She even labeled this album of photos that way. Probably the Venetians would be offended by this. Sorry, Venice.

*I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with average, run-of-the-mill birds. They have adapted to urban life so well! They walk sometimes!! THEY BOB THEIR HEADS WHEN THEY WALK SOMETIMES!!!

aachurchfascadeOur eyes were first drawn to the gorgeous church. It was under construction and there was a line, so we just enjoyed the view from outside. The architecture was really something to behold.

aasanmarcochurchReally pretty stonework. We just took pictures of sections because there was a bunch of construction going on. It amazes me how intricate all of this stuff is.

aabusyThe square may have had the most space in Venice, but it was still packed with people. Hold on to your butts. (Our code for, “Tourist trap, beware of pickpockets, shift your belongings to the front!”)

aamorestatuesI love that lion guy with wings. Once we were done taking pics of the square, we found a guy selling corn kernels and talked him down from 2 Euro to 40 cents for a big handful. Zack did the talking-down, I just stood idly by.

aazackbird1The birds are super into the seeds. Drop a couple to get their attention and then put a few in your hand and stick it out. They’re so used to this happening at this point that they know just what to do, and really aren’t that afraid about getting all up in yo’ business.

aazackbird2Once the birds come to you, they don’t want to leave. That makes it hard to transfer from one hand to the other. They’re fairly gentle with you, all things considered. We probably should have kept in mind cleanliness concerns, but we definitely did not.

aazackbird3Once I had both hands out, all bets were off. I love all these mid-flight birds. So cool! Patting myself on the back for snapping this shot.

aazackbird4Opening my mouth with all these pigeons around probably wasn’t the smartest. Zack’s poses cracked me up.

aazackbird5Caitlin! Look at this! All the birds! On me! KING OF THE BIRDS.

aazackbird6They really tickle, those pigeons. They’re funny little birds. They’re adorable, in their way.

aazackbird9Fly away, bird friends. I’m done posing. Caitlin’s turn. I loved Zack’s “dancer from the ’70s” pose here.

aacaitlinbird1Caitlin seemed unsure of the pigeons at first. They were awful fond of her, though. I probably could have started walking off, and the one on my shoulder woulda just hung out. I kind of liked that idea, but then worried about the poop that might run down my back and onto my pretty dress.


The pigeon on Caitlin’s shoulder never wanted to leave. He stayed on for a good minute after we stopped taking pictures. She was in no rush to shake him off. The pigeons were great. Here’s a Vine of our bird friends doing their thing. We were there for them to hang with. If you’re not squeamish about getting a little friendly with the wildlife/breaking the Venetian’s rules (we were approached to stop feeding the pigeons, but started up again when we saw other people doing it), I’d recommend this. It was like a lesser version of how I used to feed deer at the quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston as a kid. So there you have it. Pigeons!


2 Responses to “The Pigeons of Piazza San Marco*”

  1. jessthetics October 28, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    Cute! I can’t believe you let the pigeons sit on you, I would definitely have been scared of them. And scared of the poop. But these photos are fantastic, and the church is so pretty! xx

    • Caitlin October 28, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Oh yes, the poop was a very real concern:P But they were super friendly in a very weird way, and I guess I just missed Scooby so much that any animal would do in the moment! ❤

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