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Those Tasty Pigeons

Hey Dorian and you guys at the office at Ambergris Today, what makes you say that the pigeon situation in San Pedro is a real nuisance and that those flocks of pigeons are now pests?

I understand that these birds do cause a nuisance with nesting on the eaves of the houses, and the droppings on rooftops that collect rain water for its drinking source. They can also mess up the laundry, the swimming pools, and create noise in the middle of the night that disturbs your sleep.

These house pets did exist 25 years ago in large numbers, but we did not allow them to become pests. There were four or five large flocks of some 100 or 200 each. One such flock was at La Ensenada belonging to don Severito. Another one belonged to doña Paula who lived right across Tortilleria El Patio. A third one belonged to don Ines Rosado located behind the tourist guide office.

When these flocks became airborne, they looked like a dark cloud. But the bright side of this is that these little birds make an excellent soup.

It was said that there was no better soup to cure a hangover than a pigeon soup. Moms made them real hot with peppers and vegetables and served them boiling hot to their sons and husbands to cure one of those miserable hangovers. It put them on their feet after a very short time.

It was also said that it was an aphrodisiac so the housewives prepared them regularly for their husbands. And for the days that followed, the wives were all smiles and not complaining.

A few people used to raise small flocks in their yards for these famous soups. But how did the children catch them for the cooking pot? Well, there was a simple way which was by the use of the sling shot, a shooting device we kids were well skilled with.

But here is a simple trap you can do with a box. You place a box diagonally with a little piece of stick holding one end of the box in the air. (See diagram) A string is attached to the stick and some rice or corn is placed under the box to attract the pigeons. When you notice that the pigeons are under the box, you pull on the string which pulls on the stick and the box balls right over the pigeons. You then carefully lift the box to grab the pigeons which you take to the slaughter house. The pigeons can be de-feathered like chickens, or peeled by removing the skin. The little legs have very little meat, but the breasts have about a quarter pound total. Five to ten pigeons can make a soup for the entire family.

So folks, what do you think? If these pets are turning to pests, there is a need to balance the population, and since you cannot give them contraceptive pills, you can diminish the population by putting them in the pot.

Perhaps El Fogon Restaurant, which is a restaurant that goes back to 25 years ago, can include a pigeon soup on its menu. Every Sunday, those that suffer a hangover can come over for that famous Pigeon Soup at El Fogon, served with white rice and Marie Sharp Hot Sauce.

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

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