This is the most fierce-looking pigeon I have ever seen.
A quintessential image of pigeons often has them flocking around the feet of an elderly park-goer as they sit on a bench, tossing seeds or breadcrumbs into the feeding frenzy. Pigeons are also one of the few birds brave enough (or perhaps dumb enough?) to come right up and peck an offering of food out of the offering hand of a human.
The downside to having flocks of pigeons – or any bird for that matter – gathered around, are the unpleasant droppings bound to be coating the surrounding area. In Japan, you will often find signs in public areas asking people to refrain from feeding pigeons for this very reason. One sign posted at a train station, however, has people a little confused:
村上賢司 (@murakenkawaguti) September 05, 2016
The sign, posted at JR Kawaguchi Station in Saitama Prefecture, reads “Do not feed the pigeons.”
But the accompanying illustration, with its sharp talons, impressive wing-span, and pointed beak, is definitely NOT a pigeon. Some commenters on Twitter have chimed in with their thoughts on the poster:
“Are the pigeons in Kawaguchi of the same class as bald eagles?”
“Because raptors will come to hunt the pigeons…?”
“If they’re trying to say ‘don’t feed the pigeons to the eagles’, then I can understand using the picture they did!”
“I didn’t know the United States’ national bird was a pigeon.”
If they had used katakana to write hato – the Japanese word for pigeon – we would have assumed that they were just trying to write an abbreviated version of “bald eagle”, which in Japanese is hakutou-washi. But since they used the kanji character for pigeon – 鳩 – well, we can’t even give them that…
Tell us your thoughts, readers! What does this all mean?!