Wild Animals

Top 10 Animals that Scare Us the Most

5 / 12
Read more Read less
Fear the poo, not the pigeon.
Comstock (2) | iStockphoto (3) | Stephen Frick/Getty Images | Hemerea | John Downer/Getty Images | AbleStock | Buddy Mays/Getty Images

Ornithophobia is the medical term for bird phobias, but many people without a bona fide phobia still fear the creatures. Alfred Hitchcock's horror film, "The Birds," even played into people's penchant to duck for cover when a bird is around. And of all the bird species, pigeons seem to get the worst rap of them all. Often called "rats of the sky," pigeons used to be well respected for their homing abilities and were employed during wars to send messages back and forth between troops and base camp. According to HSUS, Hindu and Islamic nations still love these birds, but the tone is different in the United States, where many consider them flying rodents that spread disease and leave bird droppings everywhere they land.

An average pigeon is about 13 inches (32 centimeters) in length and weighs a little less than a pound. This bird is quite adept at living in heavily populated cities and makes its nests in support structures, on building ledges and under bridges. While pigeons and other birds have been known to dive bomb into a person's head on occasion, you should really only be fearful of flying poop. Pigeon droppings do carry fungi that put humans at risk of contracting diseases, such as histoplasmosis. However, the odds of getting a disease from a pigeon are very low, and the few known cases in which that happened involved pigeon pet owners, not random city slickers.

About the blog:
More on
Wild Animals