The world of pigeons

Words + images by Katie Ford-Thomas

Whenever I cross oceans, and sometimes even just county borders, I look for pigeons. It began in Rome in 2005, with a pigeon atop a broken column in the Colosseum, its head disappeared into a small well. I was much younger, and it made me smile.

Over time, that picture has led to hundreds more. Now, the pigeon has become – for me – a symbol of universality. I have never been somewhere and not found a pigeon. There was that one time in Sweden when it looked a little bleak for two days but I persevered and eventually found a flock underground in a mall in the heart of Kungsholmen.

The Wood Pigeon may not exist on every continent, but there are 175 species (300 if you include Dove, which are also part of the Columbidae family) found throughout the world. So, thank you, humble pigeon, for being a reminder that we are citizens of the world, a metaphor for how a right to travel and explore the whole world should be afforded to all those that wish to do so.

Pigeon, Rome 2005,
Pigeon, Barcelona, 2006
Pigeon, Prague, 2009
Pigeon, Stockholm, 2017

The World of Pigeons was first published in Fen + Field, issue 1

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