Ottawa - After Health Canada issued a frostbite warning for most of Eastern Ontario yesterday, thousands of flight capable street pigeons are regretting not making the trek south with the rest of their aviary companions who are settling in to a warm climate in the Southern United States.
“We are lazy crumb scavenging birds, but we never thought it would get this cold.” exclaimed Sparks street street pigeon “Potsy” as he huddled against an exhaust vent at the side of the CBC building this afternoon. With temperatures in the Ottawa region dipping down into the -30’s with wind chill, most pigeons are regretting not using their flight capabilities to fly south this winter. “We got lazy pecking at the spilled fries from the chip trucks and thought we had it pretty good.” remarked Howie, the shivering street pigeon who marks his territory east of Bank Street. “We thought the Christmas season was pretty favourable in terms of weather and we had no idea the wrath of Jack Frost would wield his mighty icicle of sub-zero temperature upon us.”
Well known to pedestrians and office workers alike, the lazy and short sighted pigeons are now making a plea for help as crumbs and stray garbage is becoming less scarce in lieu of the recent cold snap. With the onset of sub-zero temperatures and Health Canada’s frostbite warning in effect, many pigeons are now faced with the undesirable choice of huddling on heat grates in the downtown core, or sleeping on hydro lines to keep warm.
Not known for their use of internal directional compass, the pigeons are now forced to combat the cold and seek refuge wherever possible. “Just last night I had a chickadee let me know there was a full bird feeder off Bronson, so I think I’ll be okay for now.” tweeted “Peanut”, a two year veteran of Ottawa winters. “But I’ll have you know next year I’ll be joining the robins in getting the hell outta here before the snow flies.” Peanut replied as he cooed to a nearby pedestrian, begging for a morsel of his street vendor hot dog.