Emma-Jayne Saanen

[Totem Animal] Feral Pigeon

The Feral Pigeon is often overlooked as a totem, yet sie carries a lot of powerful energy that is relevant to those of us who share hir urban environment.

The Feral Pigeon originally came from domesticated Rock Dove, but they escaped domesticity and became wild once more. Pigeon is symbolic of the feral spirit that lies dormant with in us, and we can tap into that spirit if need be. We came from the wild, yet now are cut off from it by modern life. Take the opportunity to be yourself!

Adaptability and survivability are embodied in Pigeon. The Rock Dove’s natural habitats are cliff faces, the Pigeon uses our man-made buildings as an analogue. Our sprawling cities are ripe for the picking. And no matter how many culls and other anti-pigeon strategies we throw at these birds, the Pigeon carries on. Pigeon is an integral part of our urban lands, whether we like it or not.

Pigeon as an optimistic entity. In spite of what the world throws at hir, sie cheerfully goes on about hir business. Pigeon holds no animosity against the world – sie is still symbolising tolerance, love and compassion. Pigeons will accept outsiders into their flock for protection, and they pair up for life.

Pigeon is historically associated with the home and with pathfinding. Sie has incredible eyesight and, combined with hir awesome navigational abilities and visual memory, Pigeon can always find hir way home. Perhaps if you are feeling lost in an aspect of your life, you may consider approaching Pigeon.

No urban animal is vilified quite as much as Pigeon. Ordinarily compassionate people will ignorantly declare that pigeons are “disease-ridden vermin”. This isn’t true. The risk of catching a disease from a bird is so small, it isn’t worth considering. The myth is manufactured by the pest control industry to keep them in business. This teaches us that we should believe everything we hear, and should practice compassion even in cases where we naturally don’t.

Pigeon is a gentle underdog, looking for a place to call home.

Feral Pigeon @ Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_pigeon
Do birds spread diseases? – http://www.picasuk.com/do_birds_spread_diseases.html


  1. I really like that you do work with Pigeon; very underappreciated critter.

  2. This is just what I was searching for….
    thank you.

  3. Pigeons are wonderful birds with many endearing qualities. They don’t deserve the bad rep they have gotten in recent years. Thank you for your kindness.

  4. Hi, I also love pigeons, and have a nesting pair close to our chimney. They can be a bit messy! But they are such lovely gentle creatures and so devoted to each other it is heartwarming to see. However my question (perhaps a bit out there) is this – I seem to be seeing a lot of pigeons attacked and eaten by large birds of prey (eagles I think) recently (this has happened almost right in front of me three times and seems unusual) and then last night one of my own nesting pair (or perhaps one of their near grown babies) was attacked by a cat and ended up with a big gash right across the forehead. I managed to save her and she will be ok according to the vet, but I can’t help wondering if there is not some message from spirit for me in all this. What do you think?

    • I can’t help wondering if there is not some message from spirit for me in all this. What do you think?

      It is really difficult to know what, if anything, the spirits may be telling you in this. I’d start by asking myself if you think there is a message from Pigeon, or from Pigeon’s predators. From there, I would start to ask myself what Pigeon means to me, and what seeing him/her attacked means too.

      I’m sorry if that is really vague, but I’m not a “guru” or anything like that! Just a person who likes to share what I’ve learned. If you are interested in totems, I can recommend the Wildspeak website and forum ( http://www.wildspeak.com ) or the book DIY Totemism ( http://www.thegreenwolf.com/diy.html )

      I really hope this helps. :)

  5. Thanks Emma-Jayne, will do!



  8. Thanks for posting this info! Its very interesting. My sister had a pigeon flying around outside of her work earlier today, and she and her co-worker opened the door and it flew right inside and hung out in the little shop they work in for quite a while. It seemed right at home. My sister called me to ask if i could look up the meaning of the pigeon totem for her, but I wasn’t home. About an hour later I called her when I got home, and the pigeon was still there, but they were outside with it now. As soon as I read the meaning of the pigeon totem, it flew away. I wonder if that was a coincidence or if it knew that it had fulfilled its purpose now that my sis & her co-worker had learned of the message it was trying to deliver. Which by the way, my sister is going through a REALLY hard time, and the pigeon’s message seems to be just what she might’ve needed to hear! I just thought you might find that interesting. Animals are awesome :)

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