Pro Tip: Do Not Dye a Pigeon Pink, or Any Other Color

Some believe a pigeon found in NYC was part of a gender reveal party

Illustration of a pigeon with a pink breast
It's just not natural, people
Sepia Times/Universal Images Gro

Earlier this week, people making their way through New York City’s Madison Square Park noticed something a little odd: a pigeon with entirely pink feathers. As Gothamist reported, the bird was taken to the Wild Bird Fund, where it is currently convalescing. As the organization explained in a post on Instagram, dyeing a bird’s feathers is a bad idea in general, and an especially bad idea in this case.

“This poor bird has it bad enough as a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, but being a bright, unusual color makes him even more of a target,” the organization wrote. Their update also noted that the bird “shows signs of longterm malnutrition.”

The rationale for why someone would have done this is something of a mystery. The prevailing theory, as Curbed reports, is that the pigeon was dyed pink as part of a gender reveal event. And while there’s no proverbial smoking gun to validate this theory, it seems all too plausible.

The list of reasons why gender reveal parties are a bad idea is too long to recount here, and I suppose dyeing a pigeon pink is marginally better than killing someone or poisoning a water supply — but it’s still not okay.

An update from the Wild Bird Fund notes that they have had “limited success” getting the dye out of the bird’s feathers, in part because of the strong odor of the aforementioned pink coloring. “We’re also concerned about him ingesting the chemical through preening,” the organization wrote on Thursday. “He’s currently quite weak and is struggling to keep food down.”

If you’ve ever looked at a bird and thought, “It’d be a great idea to catch that thing and color all of its feathers,” here is some advice: don’t. There are plenty of things you can dye that will not involve torturing an animal. Please, please find one of them to keep yourself busy.

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