Kentucky’s famous pigeon photographer has a wonderful Instagram

A common pest finally gets its due.


Miles Klee


Published Sep 29, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 12:20 pm CDT

You probably don’t have too high an opinion of pigeons—more commonly known as “those flapping, flea-ridden, scaly-toed garbage monsters who crap on your car every day”—but one bird-loving photographer wants you to see them for the miracle of nature that they are.

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“I just want people to appreciate them more,” David Stephenson, who has worked for the Lexington Herald-Leader and trained his first pigeon in 1980, at the age of 10, told Cult of Mac. “They are beautiful, insanely tough and intelligent.” To make his case, he uploads stunning images of his racing (or homing) pigeons launching into the air and returning to home to Kastle Loft, situated in Stephenson’s backyard outside of Lexington, Ky.

At other times, he takes photos of the birds in their coop. Here’s a pair engaged in a snuggle as part of their mating routine.

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And here’s a mother hen protecting her hatchlings from Stephenson’s iPhone.

Feeding time, too, yields funny shots:

But the most awesome visuals on offer allow us to examine the mechanics of pigeon flight, which the naked eye can rarely discern:

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I have to admit, Stephenson may have a point when he talks about how cool these critters are. Maybe I’ll let it slide the next time one grazes my head inside Penn Station.

H/T Cult of Mac | Photo by Jean-Daniel Echenard/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 29, 2014, 4:20 pm CDT