A pigeon rescued in New York City park may have been dyed pink for a gender reveal party, according to a wildlife group in the United States. The bird was found in Manhattan's Madison Square Park and was taken into care by the Wild Bird Fund, according to a report in The Guardian.
The Wild Bird Fund said that the bird looked malnourished and was "deliberately dyed and released".
Pigeons come in many different colors, but pink isn't one of them. This king pigeon was deliberately dyed and released. As a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, this poor kid had it bad enough before being dyed.— Wild Bird Fund (@wildbirdfund) January 31, 2023
📷: Phyllis Tseng pic.twitter.com/SnhdIOJsHU
The wildlife rehabilitation and education center, who is now looking after the bird, took to Twitter to share the incident. They said, "Pigeons come in many different colors, but pink isn't one of them. This king pigeon was deliberately dyed and released. As a domestic bird unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators, this poor kid had it bad enough before being dyed."
Domestic birds aren't the best flyers, and they struggle to obtain food in the wild. This makes it challenging for them to flee from their prey, and the bright pink colour of this bird makes it an even bigger target, according to the fund.
A user asked why someone would do this, the rehabilitation group replied that a "gender reveal is a theory growing in popularity". Gender reveal parties are a common tradition in western countries where the pregnant couple throws a party for their family and friends to announce the sex of the baby before the birth. There is usually a function or ceremony and involves cutting a cake or popping a balloon whose contents are either blue or pink to reveal the baby's sex.
Another user was informed by the Wild Bird Fund that they would give the pigeon several baths to get the dye out in the hope that the bird would molt and develop new feathers that would be the same colour as before. "We'll try a few baths and see what happens. But eventually, he should molt them," they stated.
According to the organisation, the actual colour of the bird should be white.