It would be rash to conclude that the pigeons who regard General Allende’s statue as their home away from home display disrespect for the General in spite of appearances. I have given this a good deal of thought while lounging in the Plaza Cívica Ignacio Allende, this business of pigeons perching on statues being the worldwide phenomenon that it is and has been throughout the history of outdoor statuary.
Some few people–usually strange people in other respects, too–have a great fondness for pigeons. I think it fair to say, however, that pigeons are regarded generally as a particularly dirty family of birds. The effrontery of this attitude strikes me as breathtaking in view of the fact that Homo sapiens are themselves a notably dirty species of primate. I have therefore concluded, for this reason and others, that pigeons recognize human beings as “birds of a feather.”
Both pigeons and people are widely distributed on the planet. Male and female pigeons tend to pair off, albeit with occasional dalliances, as do people. Both male and female usually participate in the rearing of their young to the detriment of having any life of their own, although male pigeons have been known to disappear, too. Indeed, both pigeon parents and people parents for the most part appear to adore their young for reasons equally difficult to discern. People and pigeons are both efficient disease carriers. Both produce an enormous amount of sewage. To name only a few common traits of pigeons and people.
Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me that pigeons harbor greater affection for people than most people harbor for pigeons. They obviously love living in cities among people. If I am correct that pigeons love people generally, then it is to be expected that pigeons would flock to monuments erected in memory of great persons. I visit General Allende’s statue perhaps once a week and spend an hour or so loitering in the vicinity. These pigeons spend the entire day with him every day. That is clearly a display of devotion rather than disrespect for this man who was a man among men.