Pigeons of Schöneberg,

what are your favourite places?

How do pigeons inhabit the urban space? How do these birds make sense out of the human environment, which at the end of the day is their very own as well?

We mapped three particular spots in Schöneberg where pigeons are usually present. In order to capture their voice, we tried to get an impression on how do these places change over the day and how does that influence the activities of pigeons.

These areas with pigeons’ presence are:
(1) Innsbrucker Platz intersection,
(2) S-Bahn Schöneberg,
(3) Kaiser Wilhelm Platz

Pigeons have always been connected to humankind. They have been breeded through centuries for different purposes (message delivery, pets, entertainment). Feral pigeons living in the urban environment descend from escaped domestic animals.

Just like their ancestors, the city’s pigeons prefer open and semi-open environments as their habitat. In the city, train stations with bridges and open structures, high and dry spaces and metal struts forming corners and nooks are ideal places to breed.

Pigeons are animal of habits and so, their everyday life takes place in the spots where they feel that they belong to.

Pigeons are normatively perceived as a burden, rather than birds that have made out of cities their habitat, and are able to sinergize with humankind in surprising ways. Are we able to see them in that light?

Pigeons like to hang around in spaces that humankind consider nasty or ugly (traffic knots, non-places). Their presence highlights certain aspects of our society that we might not want to deal with.

At the end the question of how do pigeons engage with their environment is fundamental, but so is the one of how do we engage with pigeons?

These questions speak not only about how do we engage with natural life in the city, but also to what extent are we able to empathise with other perspectives from which to look at the city. This will ultimately define whether we plan our cities through exclusion or through solidarity.