Pigeon photos: Pictures of a 'ladies man' bird

Pictures of former laboratory pigeon who was rescued and is now at the Sanctuary. He is quite the character and has a charming personality.
By Molly Wald

Need a cure for the Monday blues? Our photo feature is here to help provide a brief diversion from your workday routine with a small dose of squee, wow and awwww. Enjoy!

There are many tiny worlds at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, as richly layered and brimming with life as anything you can imagine. One of these is the pigeon aviary at Wild Friends, which is home to around 100 pigeons. Many of them were laboratory birds at a nearby university, and after they had been thoroughly studied, the school was going to euthanize them.

A compassionate student stepped in and called Best Friends, who took all the “lab rats.” One of these is Shannon (yes, he’s a guy), who is 17 years old and still going strong.

Shannon the pigeon with his wings spread
Hello, ladies. I am Shannon. As you see, I am very strong and manly.


Shannon the pigeon showing his impressive wingspan
Look at my impressive wingspan.


Shannon the pigeon showing his nest-building skills
I am also an experienced nest builder. I can build you the finest home woven of golden strands of straw.


Shannon the pigeon showing another pigeon a piece of hay
Hay gurl! Look at this hay!


The other pigeon is not impressed with Shannon's piece of hay
Gurl, where you goin’?


The other pigeon walks away from Shannon


Shannon's hay doesn't impress any of the other pigeons
#foreveralone   :(


Shannon the pigeon holding a feather
All right, fine. You don’t care about hay. Do you want a feather? What do you mean I’m annoying?

OK. Maybe I’m coming on too strong. Maybe a little romanticism is in order here. I can be a gentleman.


Shannon the pigeon attempts to woo another female
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks! It is the east and this chick right here is the sun. You’re the sun, right? Hello?


Shannon the pigeon snuggling with another pigeon
Success! And she didn’t even care about my piece of hay. She likes me just the way I am. Awwww.


Shannon the pigeon still tries to use his hay to woo his female
I’m still gonna obsess over hay, though. Do you want to wear this as a hat? I can get more.


Due to his laboratory upbringing, Shannon spent the first five years of his life in a cage and developed zero social skills, which explains his awkward courtship behavior. He didn’t even recognize other birds as his kin at first. It has taken a while, but group living in a community setting at Best Friends has helped them all find a happy place. Even Shannon!

Learn more about Wild Friends

Photos by Molly Wald