Tragic Pigeon “Flamingo” Is Cautionary Tale About Domestic Birds
by Ashley Dreiling
The Wild Bird Fund recently found a domestic king pigeon that had been dyed pink and released into the wild. The poor guy was named Flamingo, and his story is an important reminder not to dye birds (or any animal) and the danger of releasing domestic creatures into the wild.
The rescue group believes Flamingo was rinsed with hair dye to turn him pink, prompting some to suggest he was used as a prop for a gender reveal party. Despite the team’s best efforts, Flamingo died, likely from inhaling toxic fumes. The strong ingredients in hair dye make it especially hazardous for birds with highly sensitive respiratory systems, and while preening, it’s possible the poor pigeon also ingested the toxins.
Flamingo is an example of another crucial wildlife concern – purchasing then releasing domestic birds into the wild. Pigeons, doves, and other domestic animals don’t have survival instincts, making them particularly vulnerable to starvation and predation.
According to IFLScience, Wild Bird Fun believed Flamingo, slightly older than fledging age, was likely purchased from a poultry market and not intended to be a pet. The group urges, “Please celebrate your life events peacefully without harming others.”
We are deeply sad to report that Flamingo, our sweet pink pigeon, has passed away. Despite our best efforts to reduce the fumes coming off the dye, while keeping him calm and stable, he died in the night. We believe his death was caused by inhaling the toxins.
📷: Alexis Ayala pic.twitter.com/218hh6oN8P
— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) February 7, 2023
If you’d like to support their efforts, you can contribute to the Wild Bird Fund here.