Little did I know, but I could’ve been fined around $500.00 driving into work the other day here in Berkshire County!

What did I do that was so egregious?  Did I speed?  Did I text while driving?  Did I hit another car?

No, I didn’t do any of those things (in this instance…)

What I did…was scare a bunch of pigeons. 

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I was crossing a small bridge in Adams, and there was probably around twenty to twenty-five pigeons on the bridge.  They were just eating, wandering around, doing their pigeon-y thing I guess.  I got closer and closer with my car, and they didn’t move.  It reminded me of an old Seinfeld episode.  Only I didn’t do what George did.  Instead, I tapped my horn, scared them off, and cleared the bridge.

Urban pigeons closeup

However, it turns out…it’s illegal to scare pigeons in Massachusetts.  Yeah, for real.

It’s one of those silly old laws that no one is going to really enforce (unless you’re maliciously doing it in a park or something), but it is technically illegal.  You could get a $20.00 fine or even face a month in jail!  And, since I scared like twenty-five pigeons by tapping my horn, that could’ve been a hefty fine!

That said, I have no regrets about scaring them, because the alternative would’ve been much worse.  And messy.  Like George says, “Don’t we have a deal with the pigeons?!”

And, to be fair, I see why this law is still on the books, unlike some other silly Massachusetts laws.  You never want to be cruel to animals and scare them if you don't have to.  But, if it's that or getting hit by a car?  Honk away.

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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