Pigeon pirates are raiding Manhattan, capturing wild pigeons to be sold in out-of-state gun clubs where they will be killed for sport, activists say.

The trusting pigeons are often lured into a group with seeds and other kinds of food before being caught in nets and thrown into vehicles for transport. 

There have been two recent reports of pigeon pirates raiding Manhattan streets, capturing dozens of wild pigeons.  On January 8, one man posted a video on Instagram that showed a pigeon pirate stuffing his trunk full of pigeons. On January 16, one couple in Hell’s Kitchen saw two men capture about 50 pigeons with nets before fleeing the scene. After taking a picture of the pigeon pirates’ van, the couple filed a report with the police and New York’s Department of Conservation.

These are not the first instance of pigeon pirating, as in 2018, an animal activist accused a man of selling wild pigeons for $5 to $10 each to gun clubs.

This has struck a chord with many New Yorkers as pigeons are a big part of the city, and many residents are fond of them. The birds are naturally trusting as they are used to being fed, making them more vulnerable to being captured.

An investigation is underway as stealing pigeons is illegal and can result in a $1,000 fine as well as one year in jail.

Related Content

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily. Subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!