Pigeons on a Train


How would you like to sit with this guy on the train? (Photo by Annie Mole/Flickr)

Would you rather ride the CTA with the usual suspects (for me, this includes people screaming on their cells phones, singing along to their iPods, and occasionally challenging others to an ill-advised game of three-card monte) or a flock of polite pigeons?

Much to my delight, I learned that the latter is a real possibility on the Marketplace Morning Edition today. Apparently, a group of very smart, or at least industrious, pigeons in Sweden have been making it past the turnstiles, waiting patiently for the train, boarding, and then riding one stop to a local shopping area. For them, this equals easily accessible food. The best part about it (aside from the fact that they don't seem to be causing a ruckus, either on the platform or on the train, unlike many humans I know) is that they're doing this on a daily basis. This suggests that, after getting their fill, they're flying home and then doing the whole thing over again the next day. Sound like anyone you know? (Except for the flying part?)

You can listen to the Morning Report here. For the pigeons, scroll down to the bottom and click on the 6:50 version - the story is all the way at the end of the program. Or you can read about them here.



There is already considerable knowledge of pigeons intelligence. So, if technology made humans smarter, I guess the same thing happened to pigeons, too. Anyway, interesting fact.

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