|New York City Pigeon|
The study focused on a group of 100 pigeons collected proportionally from each of the five boroughs. The birds ranged in size and age but were all native residents of New York City. The study was conducted between March and July of 2013. The non-invasive procedure involved collecting and analyzing the nicotine levels in the pigeons' blood samples as well as the visual confirmation of filter particles in their feces. They were found to contain paper and filling derived from Marlboro, Camel, Newport, Parliament, and American Spirit cigarettes. The study went on to explain,
"We immediately noticed a large majority of the pigeons display external signs of chemical addiction. They are often found standing in a group outside of a building. They twitch often and look around with sharp turns of the head. They have anti-social tendencies and are quick to fly when confronted. Their breath smells terrible and they leave droppings everywhere they go. After thorough research we have proven that 98% of pigeons in New York City are hooked on nicotine. Each of the birds in the study reek of smoke and are constantly fidgeting and adjusting their wings. We have also observed the hoarse, raspy mating calls of these nicotine-addicted birds."
The Mayor has started a new program to help these city birds break their addiction. If you notice a pigeon displaying signs of nicotine addiction call 311 to report it and get it the help it needs.
* March, 2013 artcile: Are Butts the New Bottles?
- John Powers