The dove is known as the bird of peace, but the French disparagingly call it the flying rat. Such an attitude is strange, for example, for people who breed pigeons, but for ordinary people it is quite justified. So for what sins did the pigeon receive such an unflattering nickname?
The French, in their defense, name several good reasons for their disrespectful attitude towards the bird of the world. In modern conditions, pigeons in large numbers live not so much on the streets of the city as in city garbage dumps. This is due to the fact that large flocks find food among the waste more quickly, since janitors often clean the streets, and there are not so many residents feeding pigeons. Feeding on waste, pigeons become carriers of various infections, which is the reason for calling them flying rats.
The most harmless disease that can be contracted from a pigeon is allergy, and the most serious is psittacosis.
As you know, rats are real record holders for the risk of human infection with the most unpleasant, and often fatal, infections. They take to the streets at night and move underground, while pigeons can also fly, which significantly increases the area of possible infection. Thanks to pigeons, not only streets but also squares with city parks, where small children often walk, are in the risk zone. Leaving their droppings on the asphalt, grass, benches, monuments and window sills, pigeons further expand the area of infection. In addition, pigeon excrement contains a large amount of uric acid, which corrodes metals and provokes corrosion.
Rat or bird?
Despite their nickname, pigeons still receive recognition from the French for their merits. Since ancient times, this bird has accompanied man, being repeatedly mentioned in the annals, mythology and paintings of the world's best artists. The dove is considered a messenger of good news, because according to legend, it was he who brought Noah a green branch, notifying him of the end of the flood.
The sacred qualities of pigeons were deposed by modern civilization and people with a progressive worldview, who began to see in these birds only a source of infection.
Pigeon droppings, when dry, turn into dust and spread through the air, causing allergies and headaches for public utilities. Because of it, a persistent burning sensation occurs in the nasopharyngeal mucosa. However, at the same time, it is considered one of the highest quality fertilizers for the soil, and farmers specially collect pigeon droppings to cultivate their fields and gardens, growing excellent agricultural products on them.