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 Tony the Pigeon is a superstar!

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Teresa
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PostSubject: Tony the Pigeon is a superstar!   Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:36 am

Link to the story and photo: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-07-18/entertainment/29805350_1_pigeon-tony-ferry


Birdbrain might not be such an insult after all.

A feral pigeon nicknamed Tony has been riding the New York Waterway ferry from Manhattan to Weehawken at the same time every day for three years.

"I've been working this job for 23 years and I've never seen anything like this," says senior deckhand George Schumpp, a 52-year-old from the upper East Side. "Three years ago, this pigeon shows up and starts going through the cabin and eating crumbs. Next thing you know, he's here every day at the exact same time. And he does more work cleaning than my partner."

According to deckhands and regular passengers, Tony boards the Thomas Jefferson ferry every morning at Pier 79 on W. 39th St. during the rush-hour commute. He travels back and forth on the boat to New Jersey, exiting briefly at each dock to search for food, before disembarking after two hours without fail back in Manhattan.

He then repeats the same two-hour routine, wandering both the upper and lower decks of the boat, during the evening commute. The only time he ever misses a day is during a blizzard.

"No doubt he's a New Yorker," says 40-year-old Edwin Montoya, who has worked for New York Waterways for over a decade. "He never flies off in New Jersey. Now that's an intelligent pigeon."

But how does he know that Tony is the same bird every time? After all, most New Yorkers can't tell one pigeon from another.

"If you see him every day, you recognize him immediately," says Montoya. "He's black and has a great sheen to his feathers. Plus, no other bird is brave enough to go in the cabin with all these people around."

Tony refused to speak to reporters on a recent weekday afternoon, preferring instead to concentrate on the discarded popcorn and cookie crumbs that littered the ferry floor.

Despite his love of food, this pigeon has his priorities straight.

"Kids love to chase him around the boat," says Schumpp. "To avoid them, Tony will just jump up on top of the vent or the wheelhouse. That's his safe haven. Then, when the kids have gotten off, he gets back down and starts looking for food again."

The crew of the Thomas Jefferson has taken such a liking to Tony - they insist he never actually touches the 6,500 passengers who ride the ferry between Weehawken and Manhattan every day - that they created a Facebook page for him and adopted him as the ferry's mascot.

"I've been a New Yorker my whole life and we're not big fans of pigeons, but Tony has changed the way I think," says Schumpp, who recently started feeding the pigeons around his home after work.

"He's really smart and unique. He thinks he's human. He'll walk on and off the boat with the passengers. The passengers love him."

Montoya agrees. "He makes people laugh. I have two parakeets at home and they are more noisy than Tony, but not as smart. That should be a lesson right there. Just because you're loud, doesn't mean you're smart."



Link to Tony's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TonyThePigeon?ref=ts&sk=wall
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Tony the Pigeon is a superstar!   Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:50 am

I absolutely love this story. I love it/them Thank you so much for posting it, Teresa. Great job

And a high 5and three cheers for this comment. High 5 Hip Hip Hooray Hip Hip Hooray Hip Hip Hooray
Montoya agrees. "He makes people laugh. I have two parakeets at home and they are more noisy than Tony, but not as smart. That should be a lesson right there.
Just because you're loud, doesn't mean you're smart."

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Tony the Pigeon is a superstar!   Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:37 am

I agree, that's very true and very funny! Happy

I simply loved the story! Cases like this are brilliant publicity for all pigeons in general, and I was hoping our members would 'like' Tony's page to make him even more famous. Ferals everywhere deserve to get a better rap!
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