St. Paul’s Skyway Pigeon Rookery

Each year my wife and I attend the American Craft Council show at St. Paul RiverCentre, this year on April 8. The level of artistry and skill is breathtaking. I highly recommend it, but that’s not the reason for this post. Each year we park in the Kellogg Blvd. ramp and walk across the skyway, which is constructed of vertical and diagonal steel beams that meet at floor level in a series of 45 degree angles. There are at least a dozen of these angles on each side, and in almost every one was a pigeon sitting on a nest. That was last year.

A nesting pigeon on the snowy side of the skyway.

A nesting pigeon on the snowy side of the skyway.

The show is held about the same week every year, and sure enough, the pigeons were again on the nest from one end of the bridge to the other. I pulled out the cel phone and took these photos. There was a snow squall blowing through, and the birds were hunkered down and looking rather miserable. One nest had an egg and no bird. In another, the hatched chick was huddled against its mother.

Not sure if this nest was abandoned or mom just left for awhile.

Not sure if this nest was abandoned or mom just left for awhile.

Look closely and you can see the hatched chick at left.

Look closely and you can see the hatched chick at left.

I know pigeons get no respect. The nests were spare and dirty. No one would think to place a DNR bird cam here, but it’s still interesting to see how nature has found a way in the middle of the city.

 


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6 Responses to St. Paul’s Skyway Pigeon Rookery

  1. James Warden
    James Warden April 12, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    I love this post. What a neat glimpse into a tucked away little part of our urban environment.

  2. Zoey April 12, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this post!

  3. Matty Lang
    Matty Lang April 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

    The other side of wildlife and skyway equation:

    Outline of large bird collision on outside of St. Paul skyway. No corpse seen below. pic.twitter.com/P5NzWd8Plo— Phil Picardi (@PicardiMPR) April 12, 2016

  4. robsk April 12, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    How wildlife, especially birds, adapt to human landscapes is fascinating. Maybe this nice post is the beginning of something bigger here?

    <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPGknpq3e0&quot;

    apologies if the link doesn’t work.

  5. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke April 13, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. ICYMI here’s my “pigeons in Saint Paul” article from earlier this year: https://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/2016/03/paradoxical-perspectives-urban-pigeons

  6. Bob April 13, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Who has the guano contract?